The 65th National Film Awards winners were announced in early April and all the awardees had been looking forward to the big day. On May 3, the winners were scheduled to receive the honor from the President of India Ram Nath Kovind himself and it was nothing less than a moment to look forward to and be prod of. But what dampened the spirits was when just a day before the awards, the awardees were informed that only 11 categories will be handed over by the President and the rest will be given away by Smriti Irani. Disappointed, many awardees came forward with the decision to boycott the award and a few have signed a petition to the President, expressing their wish to receive the honor from Ram Nath Kovind, himself.

Jayaraj, Yesudas and Parvathy have come in the forefront to sign the petition and also get others to sign it. Talking about the sane, actress Parvathy reportedly said, “We have a grievance and we have informed them about the same. As of now, there is no bad blood.” Earlier, Resul Pookutty, who is an Oscar winner and an National Award awardee, said that why should the awards even be held if the Government of India cannot earmark three hours from their time? Singer Shashaa Tirupati, one of the National Film Awards 2018 winners said more than disappointment, she feels disrespected. “We all gathered in Delhi with our families in the hope of receiving the honor from the President and not from another Government official,” she said.

Historically, the awards are presented by the President in the presence of the minister for information and broadcasting every year, since 1954. However, this year, there will be two phases of the award ceremony, The first will start from 4 pm and awards will be handed over by Smriti Irani and the second would be conferred by President Kovind starting 5:30 pm.