The government has merged Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), launched by the previous UPA government, with the Khelo India programme for development of sports, thereby dropping former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s name from it.
The move left the Congress fuming as this is not the first time that Rajiv Gandhi’s name is being dropped from a scheme after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.
Dismissing opposition’s allegations of doing politics by renaming the sports schemes, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “There is no politics in this.”
The RGKA was launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in February 2014 to replace Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).
Two other sport projects launched by the previous regime, that is, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme and National Sports Talent Search Scheme, have also been merged under Khelo India.
Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan warned the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government that “its clock is ticking”.
“The change is welcome but the change should be in the right direction. They should focus on development instead of renaming schemes and institutions,” Vadakkan said.
“Two years and they have nothing concrete to show. The clock is ticking for them,” he added.
This year’s Budget has renamed four schemes named after Rajiv Gandhi by dropping his name.
Last year, Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij suggested the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Parisars be renamed to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Khel Parisars in the state. The proposal had drawn sharp criticism from the Congress.