Veteran actress Asha Parekh says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's remark that she "chased" him for the Padma Bhushan was hurtful.
The Minister for Road Transport and Highways had last year said Parekh approached him seeking recommendation for the prestigious award.
The 74-year-old actress says Gadkari's comment wasn't right. "It did hurt me. It was not the right thing for him to do. But I took it with a pinch of salt. It didn't matter to me. Controversies are a part of the film industry," Parekh told PTI.
The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan.
Gadkari had claimed that Parekh told him that she was entitled for the Padma Bhushan due to her massive contribution to the Indian film industry. He even claimed that she was so desperate for the award that despite the lift of Gadkari's Mumbai flat being out of order, she climbed up 12 floors to reach him.
Parekh was honoured with Padma Shri in 1992 and with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2014. She was one of the top stars in Hindi films from 1959 to 1973 and worked with all the top heroes of her time including Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar and Rajesh Khanna.
Here's a report on what Gadkari had said in 2016:
Parekh is currently awaiting the release of her autobiography, 'The Hit Girl', penned by film critic Khalid Mohamed.
Published by Om books, the autobiography has a foreword penned by superstar Salman Khan. It is scheduled to launch on April 10.