Aiyar should see what’s happening in his ministry: Sethi


New Delhi : National Rifle Association (NRAI) secretary-general Baljeet Singh Sethi has fired another salvo at Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar Friday, saying that the minister is not aware of the happenings in his own ministry.

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Reacting to Aiyar’s remark that the NRAI chief Digvijay Singh, a senior parliamentarian, should know the import rules, Sethi said: “It is not necessary for our president to be aware of all the import rules. In fact, Mr. Aiyar is not aware of the functioning of his ministry.”

“For the last 23 years the government has been providing us with all the ammunitions, but suddenly I don’t know what happened they have stopped doing so for the last two and half years. They informed me Dec 13 that we have to apply for the import licence Dec 15 and till now we haven’t received any notice from them,” he added.

Sethi wanted to know why the government, which had been importing ammunition for 23 years, could not do it now. “I think they have some internal problems, and trying to shift the blame on us.”

Sethi reiterated that there was no point in sending a shooting squad without proper preparation. Even if NRAI gets the license immediately, it would take at least three months for the ammunition to reach the shooters. Given the fact that this is an Olympic year, it is not easy to procure ammunition at short notice.

NRAI secretary-general went to the extent of saying that the shooters may not even go to Beijing.

“I don’t think it will be worthwhile sending the shooters to the Olympics. The damage has been done. I will take up this issue in our general body meeting next month. It is a pity that shooters were the best medal hopes and they are treated so shabbily,” he said.