Sharad Pawar, the former Indian Olympic Association president, received flak for using athletics track in Pune’s Chhatrapati Sports Complex as ‘parking spot’. The NCP chief is not the only person to have been drawing flak for such an action. Besides him, Sunil Kedar, who serves as the Maharashtra sports minister and Aditi Tatkare, who serves as Minister of State, had also parked their cars on the athletics track.
The BJP has attacked NCP chief Sharad Pawar and MVA leaders for running over their vehicles on the Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune and parking their cars on the tracks meant for athletes. The development occurred when the NCP chief, who also served as the former IOA chief, visited the sports complex at the Balewadi area along with Sunil Kedar, Sports Minister and other leaders. The leaders had gathered to review the under-construction International Sports University.
शिवछत्रपती क्रीडा संकुल म्हाळुंगे बालेवाडी पुणे येथे उभारण्यात येणाऱ्या आंतरराष्ट्रीय क्रीडा विद्यापीठाच्या जागेची पाहणी व साधने-सुविधांबाबत क्रीडा-युवक कल्याण मंत्री @SunilKedar1111 व राज्यमंत्री @iAditiTatkare यांसह वरिष्ठ अधिकारी तसेच विविध क्रीडा-तज्ज्ञांसमवेत चर्चा केली. pic.twitter.com/nw9AzfswA5
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) June 26, 2021
Opposition Hits Hard
Attacking the move, Amit Malviya, who serves as the BJP IT Cell Head, reacted on Twitter and wrote, “At a time when Indian athletes are preparing for Olympics, Sharad Pawar, former IOA president and other MVA ministers, in a brazen display of arrogance, run their cars on the tracks of Chhatrapati Sports Complex (Pune), because they didn’t want to climb two flights of stairs.”
At a time when Indian athletes are preparing for Olympics, Sharad Pawar, former IOA president and other MVA ministers, in a brazen display of arrogance, run their cars on the tracks of Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex (Pune), because they didn’t want to climb two flights of stairs! pic.twitter.com/ufpfk04mQw
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) June 27, 2021
BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole also had his two cents to share and claimed that the move by the political leaders not only damaged the athletic track worth crores of rupees, but also “dented the glory of our nation and the spirits of sportspersons”.
Not only has the Athletic Track worth crores of rupees at ShivChaptrapati Sports Complex #Pune been damaged, but the spirit of Sportspersons who bring glory to our nation has been severely dented by the shameful & arrogant actions of #MVA leadership.
Watch to know full story. pic.twitter.com/H6YlloJrcY
— Siddharth Shirole (@SidShirole) June 27, 2021
Smriti Irani, Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development, and a BJP member took also took to Twitter. According to a Mumbai Mirror report, Irani tweeted-
“Due to a meeting held at the Sports Complex in Maharashtra, an athletes’’ track built at a cost of crores of rupees was damaged. Instead of strengthening the facilities of the players, the Maharashtra sports minister is himself engaged in spoiling the system.”
Further, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who’s also associated to the BJP, tweeted, “As it is we are lacking in sufficient sports facilities in our country. All the sports centers need proper care.”
As it is we are lacking in sufficient sports facilities in our country. All the sports centers need proper care. https://t.co/yZz9wP0mr3
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) June 27, 2021
Constructed at the cost of 2 crores, track parallel to second floor
As per reports, the track has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 2 crores. The complex has been designed in a way that the track is right parallel to the second floor where the review meeting was scheduled. In a brazen display of disrespect to sportsperson, the cars were parked right on the track so that the political leaders are not inconvenienced.
Meanwhile, after receiving flak from the opposition, the Maharashtra Sports Department spoke to ANI and claimed that one vehicle was allowed to use some concrete space near the track as Mr. Pawar has trouble walking. But more vehicles also came along side and parked with his vehicle.
“Pawar Sahab had an issue with his leg”: Maharashtra Sports Commissioner
Maharashtra Sports Commissioner Prakash Bakoria was quoted by ANI saying-
“Vehicles were allowed to be parked on cemented tracks as Pawar Sahab had an issue with his leg. It was allowed so that he doesn’t face problem in walking. Unfortunately, the vehicles came on track. I apologise for it and assure that such incident won’t be repeated.”
“Incident will not be repeated again”: Pune Administrator Apology
Another apology was put out by the Pune District Information Officer. The administrator’s statement read-
The incident has been noted by the Sports Minister and instructions have been issued to make sure that such an incident is not repeated again. Going forward it will be made sure that vehicles are not allowed at an athletic track.”