New Delhi: Harbhajan Singh has pleaded with the Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi to "start an inquiry" into the reasons behind the delay of filing his nomination for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, which ultimately led to it being rejected by the Sports Ministry.
"I have come to know from the media that my nomination filed by the Punjab government for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna has been declined by the Centre with the reason being that the papers arrived quite late. I've learned that due to this delay, I won't be getting the award this year," said the veteran spinner in a video he released on his Youtube page.
"I would like to plead the Sports Minister of the Punjab Government to start an inquiry into the matter as to why and how the delay occured because, as far as I can remember, I had got the forms submitted into his office by March 20, but still it got delayed. If it had been on time, I could've won the award this year," the 39-year-old said.
"For every sportsperson, it's an encouragement if his performances are recognised via awards. If such delays continue to happen, a number of players might get left behind and this is not right at some level. I hope that the the minister concerned will definitely act on this and forward my nomination once again to the Centre," he said.
Apart from Harbhajan, sprinter Dutee Chand's nomination for an Arjuna Award was rejected by the Sports Ministry due to similar reasons.