Former Indian Olympic Association president Sharad Pawar, Sports Minister Sunil Kedar, Cabinet Minister Aditi Tatkare and other ministers and dignitaries parked their vehicles on an race track for athletes in Pune’s Shivachhatrapati Sports Complex sparking controversy.
As per reports, the ministers did not want to use the elevators to reach the second floor of the sports complex which houses a meeting room. To avoid the inconvenience, the ministers decided to take the cars up to the second floor of the complex and parked the cars on the athletic track.
BJP’s @SidShirole speaks to TIMES NOW.
Details by Kajal Iyer. pic.twitter.com/I1dISrjedV
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 27, 2021
Reportedly, the cars were parked till the meeting came to an end, plausibly causing damage to the tracks. The loss due to damage of tracks could run into crores. This, while the parking lot of the sports complex was lying vacant.
The new synthetic track for athletes has been set up at the cost of Rs 2 crores in sports city at Mahalunge-Balewadi. The stadium is designed such that the runway is parallel to the second floor, where the meeting was to take place. Hence, the cars were brought and parked on the running track so that the VVIP politicians are not inconvenienced.
BJP leaders hit out at MVA leaders
Several BJP leaders have lashed out at the MVA government for displaying a brazen VVIP attitude.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju 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
BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole Tweeted, “#VIP Culture & Arrogance of the #MVA…Athletic track at Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex (#PUNE ) being used as a parking lot for Cars belonging Ex. IOA President @PawarSpeaks ji, Sports Cabinet Minister @SunilKedar1111 ji and MoS Sports @iAditiTatkare ji Courtesy : @mataonline.”
#VIP Culture & Arrogance of the #MVA…
Athletic track at Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex (#PUNE ) being used as a parking lot for Cars belonging Ex. IOA President @PawarSpeaks ji, Sports Cabinet Minister @SunilKedar1111 ji and MoS Sports @iAditiTatkare ji
— Siddharth Shirole (@SidShirole) June 27, 2021
National in-charge of BJP’s IT department Amit Malviya also registered his protest. “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!” Tweeted Malviya.
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
Sharad Pawar claims need to use CSR funds for developing sports infrastructure
Ironically, in the same review meeting held for the under-construction International Sports University at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar urged private firms to invest in the development of sports infrastructure by making use of corporate social responsibility funds along with government funding.
“The International Sports University, Maharashtra will be instrumental in creating technical manpower for sports management, job creation in the sports sector and sports training. Athletes should take full advantage of these upcoming advanced facilities,” added Pawar.
Sports Minister says “won’t happen again”
Sunil Kedar reacting to the incident claimed, “Such incident will not happen in future. Once the international sports university starts, the grounds in the sports complex will be only used for the sports activities.”
However, an athlete on the request of anonymity who trains at the main athletic stadium revealed, “Officials always take such things lightly. Driving or parking a car damages the synthetic track. Already track has developed bubbles in between and such activities will make it worse for running.”