Congress, BJP at loggerheads over 'Khelo India'

Congress, BJP at loggerheads over 'Khelo India'

Congress, BJP at loggerheads over 'Khelo India'

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are at loggerheads over the Modi government’s decision to merge the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan with ‘Khelo India’, the national programme for development of sports.

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal dismissed suggestions that the decision to drop the reference to former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi was political.

“There is no politics in it. It is to create a competitive environment,” Sonowal said referring to ‘Khelo India’, a central sector scheme formulated after the merger of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme and National Sports Talent Search Scheme.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had launched the RGKA in February 2014. The scheme was aimed at building sports complexes in each block of the country for both outdoor and indoor sports activities.

Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala criticised the Modi government for making yet another attempt to erase the memory of the late leader. “But, they will never succeed in such efforts,” he said.

Earlier, the NDA government had renamed the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities as National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities. The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes has been renamed as National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes.

Revamp

The Centre has also revamped the Indira Aawas Yojana, named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi, as Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Gramin).

At the briefing of the Union Cabinet, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also justified the government decision to merge RGKA with the Khelo India programme for development of sports.

“Khelo India is a good thing. Let the entire India play,” he snapped when asked whether the government will rename all the schemes launched by the previous UPA government.

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