New Delhi: The sporting fraternity on Sunday welcomed the appointment of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, 2004 Olympics silver medal-winning shooter, as Sports Minister.
Rathore, a Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker from Rajasthan, replaced Vijay Goel in a ministerial reshuffle of the Narendra Modi-led government. Rathore also has additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting portfolio.
His appointment was welcomed by several sporting personalities, including 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, India's only two-time individual Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and 2012 London Games bronze medal-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.
"Delighted to see @Ra_THORe is the new sports minister. All the very very best!" Bindra wrote on Twitter.
"Congratulations to rajyavardhan rathore ji on becoming the sports minister of india and wish you every success in your new duties," Sushil, the 2008 and 2012 Games medallist, said.
"Heartiest congratulations not just to @Ra_THORe but to entire sports fraternity @PMOIndia very deserving portfolio bestowed. @IndiaSports," 2016 Paralympic champion Deepa Malik said, hailing the decision.
"Congratulations @Ra_THORe on becoming the sports minister," Dutt said.
"@Ra_THORe your elevation raises hope because you have been there, done that & know what an athlete is made of. Heartiest Congratulations," 2012 Olympic bronze medal-winning shooter Gagan Narang wrote.
"An inspirational Olympic medal winner as our new Sports Minister. Good times ahead for Indian sport. Congratulations @Ra_THORe," former hocey star Viren Rasquina said.
"Extremely delighted to have one of 'us' leading the Sports Ministry. Looking forward..@Ra_THORe," Olympian shooter Joydeep Karmakar wrote.
Ajay Maken, a Sports Minister under the previous Congress-led UPA regime, said giving Rathore the sports ministry was a good choice. "Congrats Rajyavardhan Rathore for getting the charge of Sports Ministry! Can't say the same about others - But @Ra_THORe is a good choice!"
"Once a sportsman always a sportsman.. an #Olympic silver medallist gets #Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore #cabinetreshuffle," Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda said.