Sports Ministry likely to stick to original list
New Delhi: Suspense remained over discus thrower Krishna Poonia`s plea for considering her name for the prestigious Khel Ratna award even as the Sports Ministry on Tuesday indicated that there may not be any change in the original list of awardees.
After the chorus for considering Poonia`s name for the Khel Ratna grew, Jitendra Singh on Monday had one round of meeting with his secretary P K Deb. Since the meeting remained inconclusive, they met again on Tuesday for a final decision.
Though Jitendra is yet to give his final approval on the decision to stick to the original list that was issued last week, a top official in the Sports Ministry revealed that there was likely to be no change in either the name recommended for the Khel Ratna award or the initial 15 names of sportspersons nominated for the Arjuna awards.
"There is no change in the initial list of athletes recommended for either Khel Ratna or Arjuna awards. Everything remains the same," the official said.
The recommendation of Double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi for the Khel Ratna award had sparked off a controversy with some members of the panel questioning the process of his selection.
It was learnt that Sodhi`s name was not there when the majority of members decided to vote for the Khel Ratna awardee.
A selection panel member had said that Poonia and London Paralympics silver medallist H N Girisha were shortlisted for voting by 11 out of 12 selection panel members and Sodhi`s name was not considered initially.
The scenario, however, changed after one member, a former shooter, came in late for the meeting and Girisha`s name was removed and there was voting between Sodhi and Poonia.
Poonia was initially tipped for the recommendation as she had more support among the members till Sodhi`s name was brought back.
After chorus for considering Poonia`s name for the Khel Ratna grew, the Jitendra Singh yesterday had one round of meeting with his secretary P K Deb. Since the meeting remained inconclusive, they decided to meet again on Tuesday for a final decision.
The Minister was also supposed to take a call regarding the case of national volleyball player Tom Joseph as well as Girisha.
Joseph`s name was also reportedly approved initially by the selection panel for Arjuna Award but it was dropped later in the absence of Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials.