Saina Nehwal's Padma Bhushan dream gets lifeline

New Delhi: The possibility of conferring a Padma Bhushan to ace shuttler Saina Nehwal continues to remain uncertain notwithstanding the Sports Ministry's nomination as the last date for receiving such applications by the Home Ministry was September 15 last year.

Saina Nehwal in action during the 2014 Asian Games. Pic/PTI
Saina Nehwal in action during the 2014 Asian Games. Pic/PTI 

However, President, Vice-President, Prime Minister or the Home Minister may recommend any name to the seven-member Padma award selection committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary even at the eleventh hour.

Official sources also said there is another possibility of Saina's name having already been recommended by someone else as the selection panel is still to go through the 2,500-odd nominations received this year.

A self recommendation is also acceptable while the selection committee can also consider a name if it feels that any deserving person's name is left out.

The selection panel has already held two rounds of meetings and two more meetings are expected before finalising the names, sources said.

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told PTI that his Ministry had recommended Saina's name for Padma Bhushan yesterday and it is upto the Home Ministry to take a final decision.

"We want to promote all sports and all deserving sports talent must get the deserving award," he said.

Saina upset
Meanwhile, Nehwal told reporters yesterday that she was "upset" that her quest to know the reason behind the rejection of her nomination for Padma Bhushan snowballed into a big controversy, saying that she never demanded for the prestigious award and would respect the decision of the Sports Ministry.

"I didn't really like the way media put it that I have demanded the award. Who am I to demand for the award. I am nobody. I am s sportsperson. I play for my country.

I just wanted to know why my name was not considered. I just wanted the eligible players' name to be considered. Thats all. Finally what the panel decides is what I am going to respect," said Saina.

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