Thiruvananthapuram, July 25 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday expressed disgust at the manner in which Kerala athlete P.U. Chitra, who had qualified for next month’s World Athletics Championship has been left out of the national squad.
Addressing reporters, Vijayan said Chitra is not just the pride of Kerala but the entire country and it’s most disgusting that she has been left out of the Indian squad.
“Given the background of this athlete, Kerala will certainly promote her talent and will be fully behind her. It’s not fair that she has been treated like this and we will certainly take this up with the Centre, the way she has not been selected to represent the country, despite getting qualified. And if the reason that you (media) have given that she was left out to accommodate an official to go to London, it’s even more unfortunate,” Vijayan said.
Chitra, who hails from Palakkad in Kerala, comes from a family where her parents are daily wage-earning labourers who work in the farmlands.
A long distance runner, Chitra rose to stardom at the national school meet in Ranchi in 2014 and since then she has won several laurels when she won gold at the South Asian Games besides winning the gold medal at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships 2017 held at Bhubaneswar in the women’s 1,500 metres event.
Chitra told the media that she is deeply sad in the way she has been treated and so did her coach N.S. Sijin, who is planning to move Kerala High Court against this treatment.