Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav made the announcement at an official programme in Lucknow.
    
Prominent among the awardees are Bhajan singer Anup Jalota, lyricist Sameer, singer Rekha Bharadwaj, classical singer Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Olympian Ashok Kumar and Paramveer Chakra awardee Yogendra Singh Yadav.
    
The award constitutes Rs 5 lakh in cash, a shawl and a citation.
    
Other awardees are Commando Abhishek Yadav, Alaha singer Vansh Gopal Yadav, Bhojpuri Birah singer Hiralal Yadav, boxer Dharmendra Singh, wrestlers Bhagat Singh, Lal Bachan Yadav and Vijay Pal Yadav, writers Devi Prasad Pandey and Mata Prasad Tripathi, Sarod player Vikas Maharaj, social worker Ramesh Bhaiya, judo player Munnawar Anjan, shayar Bekal Uthasahi, chess player Sweta Priyardarshi, rowing player Rajesh Kumar
Yadav and educationist Jagdish Gandhi.
    
On the occasion, the Chief Minister said that his government would provide 7.5 percent benefit of all state schemes to the people belonging to 17 backward castes for whom the Samajwadi Party has been fighting since long.
    
The SP has been fighting for their inclusion in the Scheduled Castes list.

(Agencies)

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