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Badminton Association of India officials make kids pose as players for Japan junket

Badminton Association of India officials make kids pose as players for Japan junket

NEW DELHI: Top office-bearers of Badminton Association of India, including its president and former Rajya Sabha MP Dr Akhilesh Das Gupta, have come under the CBI scanner for alleged fraud and nepotism after their wards were sent to Japan as players for a goodwill trip. The agency has registered a preliminary enquiry against them.

It turned out that most of the children of office-bearers of BAI and its Delhi unit -Delhi Capital Badminton Association (DCBA) -didn’t qualify to be sent as players as they had never played in any state or regional-level tournament. The selection criteria were that the players should be between 17 and 23 years old and should have represented at the regional or state level in their country.

Japan hosted the junket for these `players’. CBI has already sent a report to the sports ministry but there has been no action so far.

CBI sources said the agency acted on information that BAI and DCBA officials had indulged in favouritism while selecting the 23 players who were sent to Japan in 2014. The tournament was organised by the Japanese government in Tokyo as part of Youth Sports Exchange Programme. The players were accompanied by two supervisors. The Japanese government paid all the expenses as the aim for the exchange programme was to promote Japanese culture and values among the youth of Asean countries.

CBI sources alleged that apart from Akhilesh Das Gupta, who is son of former UP CM Banarasi Das, other top officer-bearers, including DCBA general secretary Jitender Kochar, DCBA vice-president Harish Ahuja, former secretary of DCBA Apinder Sabharwal, former treasurer of DCBA Kamal Kumar Thapar and former member Harish Mittal, connived and short-listed their wards and kin for the trip.

Sources said neither any trial was conducted nor any advertisement published for inviting eligible badminton players.

Akhilesh Das Gupta said, “It was a city exchange programme and BAI had nothing to do with it. DCBA had selected the youngsters as this programme was between Delhi and Tokyo. It was just not a sports programme but kids had to participate in quiz and cultural events.”

“As far as my daughter is concerned, she went to Tokyo as she was selected by DCBA and I was not part of the selection. The criteria was that youngsters need to have knowledge of badminton. My daughter has won bronze medal in national school championship organised by CBSE. She has represented Delhi,” he said.

He also said that they have replied to the government on this issue.

 

Source: Times of India

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