Parties slam govt decision to appoint ex-cricketer Chauhan as NIFT head

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2016 01:26 IST

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) criticised the Narendra Modi-led Central government for appointing two-time BJP MP Chetan Chauhan, a cricketer of international repute, as the chairman of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).

Delhi chief minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal questioned the appointment of Chauhan , who is also the vice-president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and a senior BCCI official.

He accused the Modi government of assembling an army of ‘sycophants’ in prestigious institutions. “Modiji has selectively assembled an army of sycophants - Gajendra Chauhan, Chetan Chauhan, Pahlaj Nihalani, Smriti Irani,” Kejriwal tweeted. He also named a media person in the tweet.

The AAP mocked the appointment, wondering whether author Chetan Bhagat would be made the next RBI Governor, actor Anupam Kher the ISRO chief and former Maharashta minister Eknath Khadse the NIA chief.

The Congress hit out at the government saying, “Seems that the government wants to convert NIFT into National Institute of Cricket Technology,” said Congress in a statement. “Chetan Chauhan has lot of experience in DDCA which faced multiple inquiries, maybe government thought all that experience will be useful in running NIFT.”

Chauhan said he got the job because of his cricketing and banking experience. “They examined many names and ultimately chose me because I am an international sportsman and have experience in banking. I worked with the Bank of Baroda as a Scale-4 officer based in Delhi. For 23 years, I spent quality time in banking.”

The former cricketer, who also runs a cricket academy and owns a newsprint business, said, “I will work to the best of my ability…I will spend 60 per cent of the time in DDCA, 20 per cent at NIFT and 20 per cent in my business.”

He termed Kejriwal’s remarks as “baseless” and the allegation by AAP that he was being rewarded for “shielding” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the alleged irregularities in DDCA.

(With inputs from agencies)

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