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Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP and Associate Editor of 'Saamana'
Shiv Sena, through an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana,' slammed the Centre for renaming Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award while stating that hockey wizard could have been honoured with insulting former Prime Minister Gandhi's sacrifice.
Sena stated: "Major Dhyan Chand could have been honoured without insulting Rajiv Gandhi's sacrifice. But, the country has lost such tradition and culture. It would have made Dhyan Chand sad in heaven."
Sena said that just because the Modi government changed the name of the award does not mean earlier governments had forgotten Dhyan Chand. It added: " just because the Modi government changed the name of the award does not mean earlier governments had forgotten Dhyan Chand."
Sena accused the Centre of playing political games. It said: Changing the name of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award is not the people's wish, but a political game." It claimed: " Removing Rajiv Gandhi's name (from the award) is political hatred."
Sena also asked what was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's contribution to cricket that a stadium (in Ahmedabad) was named after him. It stated: "People are also asking what Narendra Modi has done for cricket that a stadium in Ahmedabad is named after him by replacing the (earlier) name of Sardar Patel," it said."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Ram Kadam also hit out at the Shiv Sena and said: "In the greed of power, unfortunately the Shiv Sena is seeing politics in renaming the name of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. This is the same Shiv Sena thatr used to talk ill about the Congress and its leaders."