Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday slammed the Athletics Federation of India for not selecting state athlete P.U. Chitra for the World Athletics Championship and sought a wild card entry for her.
Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Vijayan said the role played by the AFI on the selection was not acceptable.
“There is a process of wild card entry and AFI should see that this option is exercised,” said Vijayan.
Vijayan’s statement came at a time when the AFI has informed the authorities that it is too late to include Chitra.
On Friday, the Kerala High Court directed the sports body to include her in the squad and posted the case for further hearing on Monday.
The directive from the court came while hearing a petition after Chitra’s coach N.S. Sijin pointed out that she was eligible for inclusion and she had also qualified.
Earlier on Saturday, Kerala Sports Minister A.C. Moideen visited the house of Chitra near Palakkad and expressed his displeasure at the role played by two former athletes from Kerala, who are observers at the AFI.
“The two observers are no doubt great athletes who brought name and fame to our country and our state – P.T. Usha and Anju Bobby George, but they did not do their duty as observers. Had they done what they were supposed to do, Chitra would not have been left out from the squad,” said Moideen.
Chitra said she is sad that she does not figure in the team.
“I will not stop here. From now on I will work even harder to achieve the goals I have set,” said Chitra.
Chitra’s parents are daily wage labourers who work on farmlands.
Chitra had won gold in the women’s 1,500 metres event at the Asian Athletics Championships earlier this month, with a time of four minutes and 17.92 seconds.