In a shocking development on Wednesday, India’s lone athletics World Championship medal winner Anju Bobby George on Wednesday resigned as President of the Kerala Sports Council.
Her resignation was in protest against the newly appointed state sports minister E P Jayarajan, who had accused her of misusing funds and belonging to ‘other party.’
Announcing her decision to quit, the celebrated long-jumper said it was not proper to continue in the post after “allegations” and “misunderstandings” cropped up against her.
An emotional Anju also said, “anybody can kill sports but nobody can defeat a sports star”.
On 9 June, Anju had met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to complain against Jayarajan, alleging that he had harassed her and other members of the Kerala Sports Council and accused her of misusing funds.
She said, “We went to meet the Sports Minister as he is a newly elected leader. We thought it would be about sports and what we can do to improve sports. But he told us you all are elected by previous government, you guys belong to other party.”
“He told us that whatever we are doing is against his party. He asked us to stop all the transfers and appointments as they are against the government. He accused us of being corrupt. We were shocked. He told us he can dismiss people. We are sports members, we are supporting the government and not one party. We are not taking any money for our services,” she added.
Aside from Anju resigning, 13 other members of the council, including noted volleyball player Tom Jose, also resigned.
“It is not proper to continue even after hearing all these allegations. Me and my council members do not want to continue in the wake of such misunderstandings and allegations against us,” Anju was quoted by PTI.
She declared the decision after an hour-long meeting at the Council headquarter here.
She said those who did not like her decision to form an ethics commission to expose corruption and illegal dealings in the Council in the past were behind the cropping up of false allegations against her.
“I do not think the allegations had occurred due to any issue from the side of government or the Council. Those who fear the proposed ethics commission are the ones who are behind all this,” she said without naming anybody.
“As a revenue official and an athlete, who participated in a number of international competitions, I could easily find out many malpractices in the Sports Council, when I took charge. I think the problems began there,” she alleged.
“Even my e-mail ID was hacked. In such circumstances me and my council members decided to form an ethics commission to expose the corruption, harassment and other illegal dealings there,” the 39-year-old said.