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Ministry sends name, Saina’s case rests on special consideration

Ministry sends name, Saina’s case rests on special consideration
“In view of the achievements of Saina Nehwal, the department of sports has decided to recommend her case for Padma Bhushan to the ministry of home affairs as a special case although the last date for making the recommendation is long over,” a ministry statement read on Monday.

Though last date is over, the president, vice-president, prime minister or the home minister may recommend any name to the seven-member Padma award selection committee headed by the cabinet secretary even at the eleventh hour. A self recommendation is also acceptable while the selection committee can also consider a name if it feels that any deserving person’s name is left out.

The selection panel has already held two rounds of meeting and two more meetings are expected before finalising the names, sources said.

On Saturday, a disappointed Saina had stated Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended her name for Padma Bhushan in August last year but the sports ministry rejected her application, citing norms. But sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal refuted the claim, saying his ministry received the letter of nomination only on Saturday. The ministry on Monday reiterated its stand and said not just this year, it didn’t receive any letter from BAI nominating Saina for the Padma awards in 2013 as well. “The ministry had not received nomination in respect of Ms. Saina Nehwal from Badminton Association of India or any other agency, for Padma Bhushan for 2014,” the ministry statement read.

“It’s also clarified that ministry had not received any nomination in respect of Saina Nehwal last year either. So the question of sports department intimating Saina that her nomination for Padma Bhushan wasn’t  recommended to ministry of home affairs in 2013 (as there has to be a gap of 5 years between two Padma Awards), does not arise.’

Who am I to demand the award: Saina

Badminton ace Saina Nehwal is “upset” that her quest to know the reason behind the rejection of her nomination for Padma Bhushan snowballed into a big controversy, saying she never demanded for the prestigious award and would respect the decision of the sports ministry. “I didn’t really like the way media put it that I have demanded the award. Who am I to demand for the award. I am nobody. This is not the right way to put it. I am a sportsperson. I play for my country. I just wanted to know why my name was not considered. I just wanted the eligible players’ name to be considered.
That’s all. Finally, I am going to respect what the panel decdes. My work is just to play for my country and win as many medals as possible,” Saina said.
PTI

PTI

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