Seeking to felicitate luminaries with a Bengali connect from various fields, the State government will be honouring distinguished personalities on May 20, coinciding with the day the party came to power in the State, to present the awards.

The State government has been honouring iconic figures since 2011, when the Trinamool Congress came to power.

It was learnt that 14 persons would be awarded the Banga Bibhushan, the highest civilian award in the State, while 18 persons would be awarded with the Banga Bhushan award. The honorarium for the Banga Vibhushan and the Banga Bhushan awards would be Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh, respectively.

Those who would be conferred with the Banga Bibhushan are Lepcha historian Sonam Tshering Lepcha, classical singer Arun Bhaduri, doctor Sukumar Mukhopadhyay, proprietor of the jatra (folk theatre) troupe Natta Company Makhanlal Natta, actor Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, actor Dipankar De, industrialist Brijmohan Khaitan, judge Mohammad Abdul Gani, writer Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, principal of the St. Xavier’s College Felix Raj, singer Haimanti Shukla, danseuse and social worker Alakananda Ray, singer Mohan Singh Khangura and veteran journalist Bachan Singh Saral.

Those to get the Banga Bhushan are legendary footballers Shyam Thapa, Bidesh Basu, Gautam Sarkar and Shabbir Ali, sarod player Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, singers Srikanta Acharya, Indranil Sen, Indrani Sen, Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta and Lopamudra Mitra, scientist Munshi Ghulam Mustafa, social worker Mohammad Abdul Wahab, chairperson of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad Birsha Tirke, actors Debasree Ray and Aparajita Adhya, cricketers Lakshmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tewari, chess grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly. The list names at least one Lok Sabha candidate who lost on Friday (Indranil Sen) and sitting MLA Debasree Roy.

The yearly awards, conceived by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, sought to recognise outstanding achievers in the fields of art, music, films, literature and sports. According to the party website, in order to make the system more transparent and accountable, the State government has constituted an awards committee to select the recipients.

14 persons will be awarded the Banga Bibhushan, the highest civilian award in the State, while 18 will be conferred the Banga Bhushan award