Olympic silver-medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore replaced Vijay Goyal as the Union Sports Minister in a major Cabinet rejig on Sunday morning. Apart from winning the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Rathore has also won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. The shooter also has the honour of being the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2008 Rio Olympics. Rathore has also won two gold medals at the World Championship. Now, Rathore has the distinction of being the first sportsperson to be a Union Sports Minister. The move of the government to appoint a sportsperson to the top sports spot in the country has been welcomed by sportspersons and sports fans alike.
Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Rathore from all walks of life and from across the political spectrum. Sportspersons such as fellow shooter Abhinav Bindra, former hockey player Viren Rasquinha, boxer Mary Kom, shooter Heena Sidhu, athlete Shiva Keshavan and Major Surendra Poonia. He was also congratulated by writer Minhaz Merchant, actor Randeep Hooda and senior Congress leader Ajay Maken. Maken in his congratulatory message wrote ‘Congrats Rajyavardhan Rathore for getting the charge of Sports Ministry! Can’t say the same about others-But @Ra_THORe is a good choice!’
Delighted to see @Ra_THORe is the new sports minister . All the very very best !
— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) September 3, 2017
An inspirational Olympic medal winner as our new Sports Minister. Good times ahead for Indian sport. Congratulations @Ra_THORe
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) September 3, 2017
— Shiva Keshavan (@100thofasec) September 3, 2017
— Indian Olympians (@IndianOlympians) September 3, 2017
— Heena SIDHU (@HeenaSidhu10) September 3, 2017
— Mary Kom (@MangteC) September 3, 2017
— Manoj Kumar ???????? (@BoxerManojkr) September 3, 2017
— Maj Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) September 3, 2017
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) September 3, 2017
— Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) September 3, 2017
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) September 3, 2017
At last we have a sports minister who will see it as an opportunity rather than as a punishment. @Ra_THORe. Expect a lot now!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 3, 2017
— Deepa Malik (@DeepaAthlete) September 3, 2017
Rathore, also took the twitter route to express his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has also congratulated other ministers who were elevated to Cabinet berths with him. Sports Minister Rathore told ANI ”My gratitude to PM for reposing faith in me and giving me a very important ministry.”