Regional (M.P & C.G)

State Govt Not Responsible for PT Usha Matter: Minister

Sports Minister Tukoji Rao Pawar has clarified that the state government was not responsible for the contemptible treatment meted out to legendary sprinter PT Usha, for it did not even know if she was present in the state capital.

It may be mentioned that the famous athlete, who was in Bhopal for participating in the 49th National Open Athletics Championship, burst into tears as she condemned Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials yesterday shabby treatment of athletes, after she was provided a sub-standard accommodation.

The minister made it clear that it was SAI’s responsibility to make sure that proper accommodation was provided to Usha.

“Since SAI was supposed to make all arrangements for her visit and there was no information to the state government about her programme, an unfortunate incident took place which is very saddening,” Pawar told reporters after opening the Athletics meet.

He said that had she or SAI informed him in advance he would have accorded her to State Guest’s status in accordance with her stature by requesting Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

He said that after the matter coming to knowledge, a minister of the state called on her and shifted to posh Jehannuma Palace Hotel of the city.

“This morning I spoke to her (Usha) and she said that she is comfortable now,” he said.

To a query on whether he would order any inquiry into the incident, the minister said that the issue is an internal matter of SAI.

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