Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday took a dig at the ongoing debate over the next President, questioning the need for intense discussion for the top job given the country's vast population.

"We have such a large population and still discuss who will be our next President," he said.

The Sena chief did not elaborate further on the issue. Thackeray was speaking at an award function organized to mark the 70th death anniversary of Marathi theatre actor and renowned musician Dinanath Mangeshkar.

The President's post falls vacant on July 24 when Pratibha Patil's term ends.

Lauding Lata Mangeshkar on the occasion, Thackeray said that singing for 70 years is not easy.

"Heroines have come and gone but Lata's voice has remained forever young. Lata had her sweet revenge with the film world. Her father Dinanath died almost a pauper while she made the whole film world bow in reverence at her feet," he said.

Earlier, Lata presented awards to Kumar Bose for his contribution in the field of music, Dr Prasad Deodhar for social work, S L Barairappa for literature, Madhuri Dixit for contribution to cinema, Vikram Gokhale and Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan for contribution to theatre.

Speaking on the occasion, Madhuri Dixit lamented that her generation did not get an opportunity to see master Dinanath perform live on stage.

She recalled that "o ramji bada dukh dina" from Ram Lakhan was the first playback given to her by Lata Mangeshkar.

"Its a good coincidence that Ramji is in my real life now," she said referring to her husband Sreeram Nene.

Lata said Madhuri had good sense of music and dance.

"Her lip movements were perfect... so the audience thought it was not Lata but Madhuri herself who is singing," she said.

(Agencies)