It was a virtual slugfest between railways minister Mamata Banerjee and Chairman, Railway Board (CRB) Vivek Sahai on Tuesday. The issue: Whether or not gold medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar’s demand for a double promotion is justified.
Assured promotion in the senior commercial manager (SCM) rank after winning the gold at the FILA wrestling championship earlier this year, the ace wrestler thinks the Railways have given him a short shrift by denying him a double promotion after he won another gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Kumar also demands that he be integrated in the Railways as an “in cadre” official that would allow him to be in line for future promotions.
Railways officials are resisting this, despite Banerjee’s directives that the matter should not get involved in red tape. The issue came out in the open at a meeting organised at the Rail Bhawan on Tuesday to award Railways employees who had won medals at Commonwealth Games.
“I am saying this in the presence of all officers. Kumar has brought fame to the country and the Railways will give him his due,” said Banerjee. Sahai interjected to say the rules did not provide for a double promotion to Kumar. “Change the rules then,” snapped the minister, announcing intent to bring a new sports promotion policy in Parliament.
“I had been promised promotion in the SCM grade after winning at the FILA games. This promotion has been given to me. But after getting a gold at the CWG, I should have got another promotion”, Kumar said. “The Haryana and Delhi governments have offered me jobs and there are other offers. But I am with the Railways as of now.”