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Sharad Pawar under fire after cars in his convoy roll on to athletics track

Besides Pawar, the vehicles of State Sports Minister Sunil Kedar and Minister of State Aditi Tatkare were also parked on the racetrack.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: June 29, 2021 2:11:34 pm
Vehicles parked on athletic track at Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex (Source: ANI)

NCP CHIEF Sharad Pawar and other senior leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) have come under criticism for using a racetrack at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here to park their vehicles on Saturday.

Besides Pawar, the vehicles of State Sports Minister Sunil Kedar and Minister of State Aditi Tatkare were also parked on the racetrack.

Tweeting photographs of the vehicles on Sunday, BJP’s Shivajinagar MLA Siddharth Shirole said: “#VIP Culture & Arrogance of the #MVA… Athletic track at Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex being used as a parking lot for Cars belonging Ex. IOA President @PawarSpeaks ji, Sports Cabinet Minister@SunilKedar1111 ji and MoS Sports @iAditiTatkare ji.”

Reacting to the tweet, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, said on Monday that he was “very sad” to see “such disrespect”. “I’m personally very sad to see such disrespect for sports and sporting ethics in our country… As it is we are lacking in sufficient sports facilities in the country. All the sports centres need proper care,” Rijiju tweeted.

Pawar and the other leaders had gone to inspect the ongoing work of the Sports University at Balewadi.

Speaking to The Indian Express, State Sports Minister Kedar blamed an “oversight” in planning. “Due to his age, Pawar Saheb has problems in climbing steps, so it was thought that his vehicle should be allowed to come as close as possible to the office,” he said.

However, due to a lacuna in planning, other vehicles too parked on the track, he said. He said the racetrack was in need of repair anyway. “I have given orders to speed up the fund allocation for the work,” he said.

Constructed in 1994 for the National Games, the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex got a major makeover when it hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008. The athletics stadium has eight tracks and can accommodate 11,000 spectators.

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