Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore on Sunday came under considerable condemnation for allegedly asking sports federations in India to compare the medals won by athletes during the BJP government with that of the Congress-led UPA government.
Taking to Twitter, former I&B Minister Manish Tewari slammed Rathore terming the letter sent by his ministry to various sports bodies ‘shameful.’ Tewari wrote, “Isn’t this blatant politicisation of sports? Read mail below @Ra_THORe office is ostensibly asking Sports Federations for a comparison of the medals won by India in the past 4 years as opposed to UPA years? Sportspersons win medals for India not NDA/BJP or UPA! Very Shameful.”
– Isn’t this blatant politicisation of sports? Read mail below @Ra_THORe office is ostensibly asking Sports Federations for a comparison of the medals won by India in the past 4 years as opposed to UPA years? Sportspersons win medals for India not NDA/BJP or UPA! Very Shameful. pic.twitter.com/cAQbGCitJz
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) April 8, 2018
The alleged letter, signed by one NA Sreejit, an under secretary level officer, had said, “Mos(I/c)’s Office sought the following information urgently: The no. of Medal won by India in the international events during the last four years (under Narendra Modi government). If a comparison is made with medal won by Indian during UPA Govt, time.”
The letter concluded by saying that ‘This may kindly be treated as urgent.”
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, Tewari said, “This is unfortunate that the current BJP-led government, after having divided the nation along the religious line, has now set out to divide the country’s sports stars using communal agenda. Never before has it happened that the government of the day has sought to compare the performances of our athletes based on which party governed the country.”
BJP MP Kirti Azad, himself a member of the World Cup winning Indian cricket team of 1983, too reacted angrily and asked Rathore which party he was representing when he won the silver medal in shooting at Athens Olympics in 2004.
Azad wrote, “,We represented our country not a political party. Which party you were representing @Ra_THORe when you won the #Silver in #Olympics ? What a shame! @ManishTewari I fully endorse your views.”
This has come amidst several Indian athletes winning medals at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia. Rathore has not yet responded to the surfacing of his letter, written to various sports bodies in India.