New sports minister Gill unfazed by opposition barbs

April 8th, 2008 - 11:50 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Newly-inducted Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs M.S. Gill Tuesday hit back at critics, saying he had been appointed by the prime minister and he did not want to explain it to anyone. “People can say whatever they want to say. It is the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) who has appointed me and I took the decision to accept the position. I will stand by it,” a defiant Gill said Tuesday.

The former Chief Election Commissioner’s appointment as minister has been criticised by the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), which said giving a ministerial berth to a former bureaucrat would set a wrong precedent.

Gill was made the sports minister in the latest reshuffle of the union ministry on Sunday.

“I retired as Chief Election Commissioner seven years back. I do not want to explain my appointment,” he said.

According to Gill, other sports were suffering because of cricket and he would like to rectify the situation.

“My responsibility is to work to the best of my ability. I believe other sports have suffered because of cricket and my job will be to mend things.”

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