22nd AAC: Union Sports Minister, Jual & Dharmendra Not To Attend Closing Ceremony

Bhubaneswar: The Asian Athletics Championships is a prestigious sports festival which is being held in the country for the third time. This time the venue was shifted from Ranchi to Bhubaneswar which had only 90 days to organize the event.

It was inaugurated on July 5 and the closing ceremony would be held on July 9.

But the event has not been above politics.

While the Union Sports Minister Piyush Goyal had stayed away from the inaugural ceremony, he has now expressed his inability to attend the closing event as well.

So also BJP’s only Lok Sabha Member from Odisha and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram. And add to that list Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

All the three leaders had remained conspicuously absent on the day the gala event was inaugurated.

Earlier, during BJP President Amit Shah’s visit to the state on his ‘Mo Booth Sabuthu Majbhoot’ programme, there was an ugly war between BJD and BJP workers over posters of Naveen Pattanaik and Shah.

While the top brass of the BJP state leadership either prefer to remain tight-lipped or give ‘other pressing engagement’ reason, other party leaders including the BJD and political analysts say that there is more to it than the eye can meet.