Top office-bearers of the Badminton Association of India, including Rajya Sabha MP Akhilesh Das Gupta, have come under the CBI scanner for sending their ineligible wards to Japan for a goodwill tournament. The national agency has also registered a preliminary inquiry against the alleged officials.
Cases of nepotism are absolutely not new in Indian sports. Over the years, we have had so many examples of that, and BAI has apparently added another chapter to the fabled saga. Without doing any selection trial and without even publishing any advertisement, BAI officials selected their wards to participate in a badminton tournament organized by the Japanese government in Tokyo as part of the Youth Sports Exchange Programme, HT has reported. The Japanese government paid all the expenses as part of the exchange program, which aims to promote Japanese culture and values among the youth of Asian countries.
CBI sources alleged that Akhilesh Das Gupta, the son of former Uttar Pradesh CM Banarasi Das, and other top officer-bearers, including Delhi Capital Badminton Association (DCBA) general secretary Jitender Kochar, DCBA vice-president Harish Ahuja, former secretary of DCBA
The agency had referred the matter to the sports ministry for further action since it doesn't have any mandate to initiate a formal criminal probe in the case.
Speaking about the allegations, Akhilesh Das Gupta, who is also a current MP in Rajya Sabha, said, "It was a city exchange program and BAI had nothing to do with it. DCBA had selected the youngsters as this program was between Delhi and Tokyo. It was just not a sports program but kids had to participate in the quiz and cultural events," reported the Times of India.
"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 criterion was that youngsters need to have knowledge of badminton. My daughter has won the bronze medal in national school championship