NEW DELHI: The appointment of cricketer Chetan Chauhan as Chairman of premier fashion designing institute(NIFT) drew more condemnation of the Modi government today from opposition parties which said it was "shocking" and that it raised questions on the prime minister's transparency.
Separately, former India cricket captain Bishen Singh Bedi said the appointment "defies all logic". Chetan Bhagat also waded into the Chauhan controversy after his name was dragged by the AAP which while mocking at the cricketer's appointment yesterday had suggested that the celebrated author appoint him as the next RBI governor.
Bhagat took to twitter to hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party, saying he knew economies and monetary policies better than anyone in that party and that they should behave rather than indulging in 'mud-slinging'.
Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Gangwar, however, batted for Chauhan, saying there are eleven members on the NIFT board and they are from various walks of life. "The person who becomes Chairman does not take decisions on his own and in a statutory body there are people from every area...there is no harm in this and a person with repute in his field can be appointed," he said.
RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said it appeared that the Modi government has decided that the less qualified you are, the more qualified you are for any position. "Now that you have decided so hence, you have Gajendra Chauhan (FTTI) and Pahlaj Nihlani (CBFC)...we are afraid now such people will be sent to ISRO and UGC.
"Chetan Chauhan could be in some cricket body but here in an institute which has a direction and aim...it is not okay," he said.
Jha said such a decision poses questions on the purity (suchita) and transparency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congress leader Tom Vadakkan said the appointment of Chauhan was like putting a cricket captain in a football team.
"This is shocking. We have seen decisions like this in the CBFC and FTII and they (government) is just not bothered. What is his (Chauhan's) contribution and background with NIFT. These are questions public is going to ask," he said.