Jamshedpur: Olympian archer Jayanta Talukdar is likely to represent Jharkhand for the last time in the National Games, commencing from January 31 in Kerala.
Talukdar has to take a decision whether to continue to represent the state, which he has been representing for last the 15 years, due to a government policy.
As per the policy framed by the previous Hemant Soren government, only the medal winning sportspersons who are natives of Jharkhand, will be entitled for cash award.
The 28-year-old Talukdar was born in Assam but began his career in archery in Jharkhand after the state was created in 2000. Since then, Talukdar has been winning medals in national and international events consistently.
The ace archer said he called on Director (Sports), Jharkhand, recently and apprised him about his situation and the official assured him to look into the matter. "However, I would be left with no option but to take a decision whether to represent Jharkhand after the National Games unless I am recognised by the state government," Talukdar told PTI.
In the event of Jharkhand government not recognising him, he may opt for his home state Assam or the Steel Plant Sports Board. Talukdar, who had been a cadet of the Tata Archery Academy (TAA) here, is a manager at the Tata Steel.
Jharkhand government recognised his achievements and honoured him with cash award till the new policy came into existence. "I have been awarded by the Jharkhand government for winning medals since 2006. Unfortunately, my name was omitted from the list for cash awardees after I and Deepika Kumari won gold in Taipei Asian Championship in 2013," Talukdar said.
"Deepika's name was included in the list for cash award but my name was excluded as I have not been recognised as a resident of Jharkhand," he said. Asked whether the decision of the government would hamper his medal prospect at the National Games, Talukdar said he would give his best but admitted that such things distract one's concentration.
TAA coach Dharmendra Tiwary described the government's decision as 'double standard'. "On one hand, the government is not ready to honour him with cash award for winning medals, on the other hand he is included in the state team for the National Games," said Tiwary, a former national coach.