NEW DELHI: In his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Sarbananda Sonowal, the Chief Minister designate of Assam – but in his capacity as the Union sports minister. PM Modi said he was pleased with the way Mr Sonowal did not neglect his duties as the sports minister even while the assembly elections in Assam was on.
Mr Sonowal, he said, had paid a surprise visit to Patiala’s National Institute of sports in the middle of the election season.
“There were polls, he was a chief minister candidate but Sarbanand Sonowal performed his duty as a sports minister. This is a big thing,” PM Modi said. “Everybody was surprised and noted how a Union Minister showed so much concern.”
The BJP has won the recently held elections in Assam – a huge victory, since it was the party’s first in a north-eastern state. Mr Sonowal, who is from the state, had led the campaign. At the time, the 53-year-old had been the minister for sports and youth welfare in the Union Government.
PM Modi said it was important to create the correct atmosphere to encourage athletes before the nation thought about the medal tally in the Olympics.
“When we talk about the Olympics we do feel sad at the medal tally. But we need to create the right atmosphere to encourage athletes,” he said. “It is essential to be positive about our athletes. Let us not worry about the results.”
In this context, he spoke of academic results also, referring to a letter written to him by a student named Gaurav.
The student from Madhya Pradesh had written to say that he had scored 89% but his family was not satisfied with his results, since they wished him to score 90%.
“Gaurav, I have read your letter and I am sure there are many like you out there,” PM Modi said. Appealing to parents to encourage their wards, he said it was important to feel positivity.