New Delhi, Jan 28: Spiritual leader Siddeshwar Swami, of the Jnana Yogashram, Vijayapura on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and refused to accept the Padma Shri award conferred upon him on Thursday. Expressing his unwillingness, the seer said that being a ‘sanyasi’ he is little interested in awards.

“I am very thankful to government of India for awarding me the prestigious ‘padmasri’. But with all respect to yourself and to the government, I want to convey my unwillingness to accept the great award. Being a sanyasin I am little interested in awards. I hope, you appreciate my decision of not accepting the highly valued Padmasri Award,” Siddeshwara Swami wrote in his letter to the PM.

Earlier in 2015, writer Salim Khan had refused to accept the Padma Shri award saying that it’s too late and others had received it much earlier. “My contribution to cinema has been much more than what is being offered to me (as an acknowledgment). So, I have refused to accept it,” Khan had said.

On January 25, Narendra Modi-led government announced Padma Shri awards for personalities who served the poor, set up free schools and popularised tribal arts globally.

Since last year, the Modi government has been honouring “unsung heroes” with the Padma awards to recognise people who have dedicated their lives to working for the poor or have risen from deprived backgrounds to excel in their own fields.