“I would like to congratulate Saina. The decision of the Sports Minister is very good," wrestling icon Sushil Kumar said.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar said he welcomed the Sports Ministry's decision to recommend Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal's name for the Padma Bhushan.
"All we need is the blessing of the people. I would like to congratulate Saina. The decision of the Sports Minister is very good," wrestling icon Sushil Kumar added.
On Monday, the Sports Ministry decided to recommend ace shuttler Saina for the Padma Bhushan award but insisted that it did not receive her nomination from the Badminton Association of India within the stipulated deadline.
A disappointed Saina had stated that the Badminton Association of India had recommended her name for the Padma Bhushan in August last year but the Sports Ministry rejected her application, citing norms.
But Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal refuted the claim, saying that his ministry received the letter of nomination only on Saturday. The Ministry reiterated its stand on Monday and said, not just this year, it didn't receive any letter from BAI nominating Saina for the Padma awards in 2013 as well.
Nehwal is upset that her quest to know the reason behind the rejection of her nomination for Padma Bhushan snowballed into a major controversy, saying that she never demanded for the prestigious award and would respect the decision of the Sports Ministry.
Talking about two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar, whose name was recommended by Sport Ministry to the Ministry to Home Affairs as a special case, Saina said: "Sushil and I always speak to each other. We are from the same place as well, Haryana. There is nothing wrong between us. I will be very happy if Sushil gets the award."