After being overlooked for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, one of the iconic Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia met Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and said he has been given assurance that the wayward case would be looked into and taken into consideration.
“I was supposed to meet the Minister today but suddenly we got a call last evening for the meeting. I asked the Minister about the reason for not considering me for the Khel Ratna. He said I didn’t have enough points which is wrong. I have garnered more points than the two (Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu) who were nominated,” Bajrang told PTI.
Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli have ‘zero’ points under his belt while weightlifter Mirabai Chanu have 44 points in her bag for 2018 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award while Bajrang Punia - gold medallist at both Commonwealth Games and Asian Games – have a total of 80 points, which is also the highest.
Virat Kohli obtained 'zero' points while reigning world champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu earned 44 points on way to being named for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna by the 11-member selection panel. Yet in a shocking turn of events, the 11-member panel decided to snub the star weightlifter for India’s highest sports award.
Kohli’ performance tally had zero points as no criteria has been set for cricket, as per TOI.
“I have been wronged. I want justice. The Minister said he will look into the matter but there is hardly any time left for the award function. I will wait till evening for communication from the government’s side. If I don’t get a favourable reply by evening I will move court tomorrow,” he added while his coach and another legend in the field of weightlifting Yogeshwar Dutt accompanied him in the meeting.
Bajrang Punia bagged gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in Jakarta. He had earlier clinched silvers in 2014 editions of the abovementioned games. 2013 World Championship bronze is another medal which lists on his impressive CV.
The National Sports Awards is set to be awarded on September 25 in 2018 instead on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand – August 29 – as the dates were clashing with the 2018 Asian Games.