E.P Jayarajan, the sports minister of Kerala has now waded into another controversy…
Arjuna award winner Anju Bobby George has accused him of insulting her over “corruption” charges.
Anju, a medal winner in the 2003 world athletic championship in Paris and the incumbent president of Kerala Sports Council said that she had gone to meet the Sports Minister along with the vice-president on Tuesday after the new government came to power.
The Sports Council with Anju as president was installed by the previous UDF government.
“We thought he will ask us about the status of sports in Kerala. In the first meeting itself, the minister said ‘you are all elected as members by the previous ministry. So you all are other party members… All transfers and appointments made by you are illegal,” the minister was reported as saying by Anju
“The minister said that all of us are involved in corruption. We are not acting for any political party. Sports is our party. I am not a member of Congress, Communist or BJP. We are doing our duty. If the government is not ready to accept that, they can ask us to leave. But instead, calling all of us as corrupt was not acceptable,” Anju said.
“When a minister is appointed as the head of a department, he should have some minimum knowledge about the working of the department,” the Olympian said.
When asked if she would resign, Anju replied that she hasn’t taken any decision about it.
However, Jayarajan denied the allegations and said he had a happy meeting with the Sports Council members.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has backed Jayarajan on the issue.
The controversy erupted at a time when Jayarajan was getting his breath back after he remembered boxing legend Muhammad Ali as a renowned sportsperson from Kerala.
The minister made these remarks when a Malayalam TV channel telephoned him on Saturday seeking a quote on Muhammad Ali’s death.