Tom Joseph Exclusions From Arjuna Award List – State faces strong protest

Published on: 16 Aug, 2013
Published under: General Kerala News, Kerala Sports News, Thiruvananthapuram District News

15 August 2013

The exclusion of volleyball international Tom Joseph from the list of those recommended for this year’s Arjuna award has evoked a strong wave of protest in the State.

Sensing the general mood, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy spoke to Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Jitendra Singh on Wednesday morning seeking the latter’s intervention.

The Chief Minister apprised Mr. Singh of Tom Joseph’s track record at both the national and international level and on how the player has been consistently overlooked for the prestigious award in the last nine years.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Chandy said the Union Minister promised to look into the issue and take favourable action, keeping in mind the State’s concern over Tom’s exclusion.

The player’s cause was also taken up by Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, who in a letter to the Union Minister deplored the decision of the selection panel to sideline Tom Joseph and basketball international Geethu Anna Jose.

“The people all over Kerala are hurt by the decision of the selection panel. I hope that steps will be taken to address the anguish of the State by including these two players on this year’s award list,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, the exclusion of Tom Joseph was also taken up separately by the Members of Parliament cutting across party lines. Speaking on behalf of the MPs, Rajya Sabha member M.P. Achuthan said he along with CPI(M) member P. Rajeev had sought the intervention of the Union Minister in favour of Tom Joseph last week itself through a joint memorandum.

The MPs were given a patient hearing by the Union Minister who also assured them that he would look into the matter favourably.


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