Kerala Sports Minister backs athlete Chitra, alleges conspiracy

Though Chitra has the backing of the state govt, the AFI is planning to challenge the interim order before the HC Division Bench.

Published: 30th July 2017 09:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2017 09:57 AM   |  A+A-

Indian athlete Chitra P.U competes in the women's 1500m event during the second day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships. | AFP

Express News Service

PALAKKAD: The government will do all it can for athlete P U Chitra and, if needed, the Sports Council will adopt her, said Sports Minister A C Moideen. He was speaking after visiting the house of Chitra at Mundur here on Saturday. Chitra said she had been attending the training camp in Ooty on the hope she would be participating in the World Athletics Championship in London.

Moideen, who reached Palakkad on Saturday morning, waited for Chitra till 1.30 pm for her arrival from Ooty. He said the court had found there were anomalies in the selection of participants to the world championships.The government was ready to send Chitra for training even to a foreign country and to provide a scholarship.

The matter had been taken up with the Central Sports Minister.It should be suspected Chitra was excluded to suit the interests of some persons. He said Chitra should get justice.  The minister said the role of sportspersons like P T Usha and Anju Bobby George aroused suspicion. The criteria for selection to the world championship was itself questionable.

Moideen said the selection list was prepared very secretly. It was published in the last minute so  there was no scope for appeal.Chitra told  Express she would like to be trained under coach N S Sijin of the Mundur High School in Palakkad.

“At the national coaching camps, the participants are provided with protein rich food costing between Rs 750 and Rs 1,000 for each person everyday but it will be difficult in a place like Palakkad,” said Chitra who is the daughter of daily wage earners Unnikrishnan and Vasantha.

Meanwhile, Sijin said there was a conspiracy to exclude Chitra right from the beginning. The name of Chitra was missing in the first list published for the Asian Athletics Championships. Subsequently, the issue was taken up through M B Rajesh MP. The Federation said it was a ‘clerical error’.

Sijin said though the list for the world championships was prepared three days in advance, it was not published till the last minute. He called upon the state government to take up with the Centre the issue of delaying the publication of the list so in future it is known at least 15 days in advance.  
He said Chitra suffered the same fate of Anu Raghav who was excluded from the Rio Olympics by vested interests.Chitra said she would continue to practise and hoped if she got a job in Kerala, it would benefit her family. 

Union Sports Minister should intervene: CM

KOZHIKODE: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested the intervention of Union Sports Minister to ensure participation of P U Chitra in the World Athletic Championship, scheduled to start in London on August 4. The Athletic Federation of India (AFI) should reconsider its decision to drop Chitra from the national squad for the championship, the Chief Minister told mediapersons. “Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel should urgently intervene in the matter and take steps for ensuring her participation in the world championship,” he said.

VS seeks Chitra’s inclusion

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In view of the High Court order directing to include P U Chitra in the Indian team for the World Athletics Championship, Administrative Reforms Commission chairman V S Achuthanandan has written to Union Sports Minister Vijay Goyal seeking his urgent intervention to ensure justice for Chitra. The minister being somebody with ‘good spirit’ in matters related to sports would ‘rise to the occasion,’ VS said. In an e-mail  to the Union Sports Minister, Achuthanandan urged him to initiate urgent steps without any delay. VS said the High Court of Kerala had observed ‘Chitra has got all the credentials to be a competitor in the World Athletic Championship.’


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