The Congress Friday launched a fresh attack against the BJP government’s decision to rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of harbouring a “myopic political motive”.
The Opposition party further demanded that he should also change stadiums named after him and late BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
The PM Friday announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award will now be known as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, “respecting the sentiments of citizens across the country”.
The Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honour in the nation and carries prize money of Rs 25 lakh.
“We sincerely hope Modi ji should not have used his myopic political motive to drag the name of a celebrated player like Major Dhyan Chand. Rajiv Gandhi ji is not known for any award; he is known for his sacrifice, for his ideas and for commitment to India and for his sacrifice for India and for the manner in which he transformed India in the 21st century,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, at a press conference, said.
Surjewala told reporters that his party hopes now that a new beginning has been made and Modi will announce changing the name of Narendra Modi stadium and Arun Jaitley stadium and name them after legendary sportspersons like Milkha Singh, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Leander Paes, P T Usha, Mary Kom, Abhinav Bindra and many others.
The Opposition leader also said the Narendra Modi government cut the sports budget by Rs 230 crore in an Olympic year and is now drawing the attention away from the fundamental issues of farmers, their protests, “runaway” inflation and the Pegasus spyware issue.