Saina lashes out at Sports Ministry over Padma Bhushan snub

New Delhi: Olympic bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal was left disappointed after the Sports Ministry rejected her application for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award this year, citing norms.

Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended Saina’s name for the award to the Sports Ministry in August last year but the ministry picked two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar as it felt he was a more deserving candidate.

“I heard that Sushil Kumar’s name was sent for Padma award as a special case, while my name was not sent to Ministry of home affairs by sports ministry. The ministry guidelines say that there needs to be a gap of five years between two Padma awards. So if they can send his name, why they didn’t recommend my name as I have completed the five years gap. I felt bad about it,” Saina, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010, said.

The 24-year-old claimed her application was rejected last year also on similar grounds but this year, the ministry decided to recommend Sushil’s name even though he has not completed the five-year norm after being bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2011.

“Last year when I had sent my file for the Padma Bhushan award, the ministry said ‘No Saina you can’t apply this year because you have to complete five years for this.’ So I again applied this year for the award. So why my name was not recommended this year?” she asked.

Meanwhile, Saina took to the micro-blogging site, sending out tweet after tweet, where she also explained how Sushil is ineligible to receive the prestigious award.

“I saw the news about the Padma awards and I was really sad to see that my name was not sent to Ministry of home affairs by sports ministry of india,” Saina tweeted.

“I read that Sushil Kumar name is recommended by the Sports ministry and he is not completed 5 years as a special case but even i won the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and won many titles in2014.”

“I won the commonwealth games gold in 2010 and I m world number 4. As a player we feel good when we get such a great award and it motivates.”

“I hope sports ministry look up to this and I will be more than happy if both me and Sushil gets the award as we both won medals in 2012 Olympics. But I think rule is rule for me they said u have to wait for 5 years to get the award.”

(With PTI inputs)

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