HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014
Maken left out of F1 guest list by Jaypee?
Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 29, 2011
First Published: 13:25 IST(29/10/2011)
Last Updated: 00:19 IST(30/10/2011)

Over one lakh people, including Bollywood celebrities, cricket stars, politicians and sports enthusiasts, will converge on the country’s first Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday. But India’s sports minister Ajay Maken will not be there.

 The organisers slighted him, leaving the minister out of their guest list for the high profile event, ostensibly because Maken rejected their request for concessions this week that would have saved them crores of rupees at the tax payers’ expense. Maken wasn’t surprised at the organisers, Jaypee Sports India (JSI), leaving him out.

“I didn't expect an invite because as sports minister, I refused the demand of Formula One organisers for tax or customs exemption,” Maken said.

He is presently in Kerala to inaugurate a synthetic turf at an academy run by athletic icon, PT Usha, in Calicut.

“Moreover, I am not a star, nor a celebrity, nor an item girl. So why should I be invited,” he said. Later, Maken insisted financial concessions were as good as government grants. “It is an elite and profit-making sport being organised by a private company… why should the exchequer lose any money over it,” a sports ministry official added.

The organisers, meanwhile, denied they had left out the sports minister. “We have sent invitations, not just to the minister but the Prime Minister as well,” said a top JSI official.

A ministry source said what Maken did receive two passes to the event, couriered to his residence on Thursday evening.
“There wasn't even a covering letter,” a government official said.

“This is not how you invite ministers or other dignitaries… particularly the minister incharge,” rued a senior government official.

The minister suggested he would not have been able to make it to Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida since he had already committed to PT Usha.

But protocol required that the minister-incharge — who is the face of the government — be formally invited as a courtesy.

(With inputs from Rohit Bhaskar)

comment Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of
blog comments powered by Disqus

F1 car vrooms on Rajpath
more »

In the know
Every racer's first step

In this week's column, I thought I would look at the most basic form of motorsport  - Go-Karting. When I was 6 year's old, my parents gave me a small cadet kart as a birthday present. Karun Chandhok writes.

In The Know
One for the road...

As I write on board the flight to Singapore for the Grand Prix, I thought it's a good time to go slightly off track with this week's column and talk about the travel in F1! Karun Chandhok writes. Going the distance
more »

Never thought I'd race in an Indian GP, says Narain

Narain Karthikeyan
"Since the day I started racing, I dreamt of being in the Formula One," said Narain Karthikeyan. "But never in my wildest dream did I think of racing in an Indian GP." That's how the country's first F1 racer wants to sum up his excitement about the upcoming event next month. "It's going to be the most special thing in my life," he added.

Formula One driver regimen

It’s not all glamour for the Formula One drivers who endure demanding conditions while in the cockpit. They’re subjected to incredible wear-and-tear. HT reveals their fitness regimens.

more »
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved