Former Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley have been awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been awarded in the field of public affairs, while Sushma Swaraj who is former External Affairs ministers has also been awarded in the field of public affairs.
Former Defence Minister George Fernandes has also been awarded Padma Vibhushan in public affairs.
The family members of Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj on Saturday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Centre announced that the late Union ministers have been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in the country.
"Today is a very proud moment for my family & I. Thank you, Shri Narendra Modi for bestowing this honor on my father. Those who were close to him certainly know - for Arun Jaitley, the nation ALWAYS came first!" Jaitley's daughter Sonali Jaitley Bakhshi said on Twitter.
"Thank You, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for bestowing the award on my father," said his son Rohan Jaitley.
Swaraj's husband and former Mizoram Governor Swaraj Kaushal tweeted, "Thank you Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji and our Home Minister Shri Amit Shahji for conferring Padma Vibhushan award on Sushma Swaraj in recognition of her services to the nation. We feel honoured and humbled."
He attributed the Twitter statement to himself and to his daughter Bansuri Swaraj.
Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines or fields of activities--- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases.