Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India], August 8 (ANI): Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D K Shivakumar condemned removing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's name from the Khel Ratna award.
"The Khel Ratna Award, named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has now been changed by the Union government. This is condemnable. Rajiv Gandhi's programs were for the youth of the country, for their patronage and the opportunities he provided for revolutionary thinking of the youth are truly unforgettable. The Khel Ratna award has always been given in his name, and now this has happened" said KPCC president in the press conference.
Stating that Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand was the pride of the country, the Karnataka Congress leader said that the Congress party has no objection if the Modi government wanted to institute a special award or launch a new scheme in Dhyan Chand's name.
"Dhyan Chand is the pride of our country. There are no two words about it. Let the government start a new welfare scheme, program, or a new university in his name. We will never oppose such a decision," he further added.
"There are many programs in the name of BJP leaders. Atal Saarige, a policy decision by the transport department of our state honoured former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee earlier. We did not change the name when we came to power afterwards. We never had such ill intentions," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will now be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in honour of the hockey legend following the performance of both men's and women's hockey teams in the Tokyo Olympics.
Making the announcement, PM Modi said he had been getting many requests from people across the country to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. The announcement came on the after the Indian men's hockey team won the Bronze medal after 41 years at the Olympic Games. (ANI)
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