Anju says she was insulted by Sports Minister

The Kerala State Sports Council president and ace athlete, Anju Bobby George, on Thursday alleged that she was humiliated by Sports Minister E. P. Jayarajan during a courtesy call.

Olympian Anju Bobby George is also the president of the Kerala Sports Council.   -  M. Moorthy

The Kerala State Sports Council president and ace athlete, Anju Bobby George, on Thursday alleged that she was humiliated by Sports Minister E.P. Jayarajan when she had called on him at the Secretariat here on Tuesday.

“It was a courtesy call and our first meeting after he took over as Minister. I had been busy with the establishment of my academy through the last several weeks and was therefore unable to meet him earlier. I was accompanied by the KSSC vice president, T.K. Ibrahim Kutty and our intention was to apprise him of the work being undertaken by the council,” she said.

“But before anything else, he just shouted at me saying that the entire council was corrupt and we all were stooges of the previous regime. He also alleged that I was putting a lot of financial burden on the council and the government by claiming air tickets for my travel to Thiruvananthapuram from Bengaluru, where I am based,” Ms. George said.

Govt. order

“I had claimed the tickets based on an order which was issued by the government. Before ending the meeting, he also insisted that all transfer orders issued by the council should be immediately withdrawn, without even showing any courtesy to listen to us,” Ms. George told Sportstar over telephone.

She said that immediately thereafter she had called on Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan and complained about the misbehaviour of the Minister. “The Chief Minister gave us a patient hearing and consoled me saying that the government held me in high regards and was appreciative of my achievements, “ she said.

Mr. Jayarajan, when approached by the media, denied all allegations and said, “Our meeting had gone on well and Ms. George had left happily. I am not sure what she is talking about now.”

The Chief Minister, who attended a meet-the-press programme at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club during the day also defended the Minister by saying that what Ms. George had complained about was Mr. Jayarajan’s objection on her availing air tickets.

On meeting him, Ms. George said that she had no political interests and Mr. Vijayan too informed her that the government had no such perceptions. The previous government had given her the permission to avail herself of flight and other facilities. The government has certain norms for providing these facilities and the Sports Minister only mentioned about it, he said.

Mr. Jayarajan was the butt of jokes last week after he described boxing legend, Muhammed Ali, as one who brought laurels for the State after a Malayalam television channel sought his comments soon after the news came in about Ali’s death in the U.S.