EC takes objection to felicitation of N-E sports persons

Dipa Karmakar RioNew Delhi: Taking strong objection to felicitation of sports persons from North-East by the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DONER), without prior permission, the Election Commission on Thursday sought response from the central government.

"It has come to our notice through media reports that the DONER and Home Affairs ministries felicitated nine sports persons who had participated in Rio Olympics from north-eastern states. Out of them, five hail from Manipur, which is going through polling process," the Election Commission said in letters written to the secretaries of the two ministries.

The Commission has sought response from both ministries by 3.00 p.m on Saturday.

"You are, therefore, requested to inform the Commission the reasons and circumstances under which prior permission from MCC (model code of conduct) angle was not taken for organising the said felicitation," the Commission said.

The sports persons, honoured at an event at the North Block, were presented with mementos and cash award of Rs 2 lakh each.

Those felicitated include Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics), P. Sushila Chanu (Hockey- Women), H. Lal Ruatfeli (Hockey-Women), L. Bombayla Devi (Archery), Chinglensan Singh (Hockey-Men), K. Kothajit Singh (Hockey-Men) and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting).

Two more Olympians from North-East -- Shiva Thapa (Boxing) and T. Anuradha Devi (Hockey-Women) -- were also awarded in absentia at the event.

Five of them hail from Manipur.

Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh and MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju felicitated the sports persons.