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"Pity that athletes feel they have to lobby for awards"

Press Trust of India |

 Outgoing Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said it was a "great pity" that athletes feel they have to "lobby" and "jostle with each other" for Padma awards.

Omar’s comments came after boxer Vijender Singh today asked the Boxing Federation to recommend his name to the Sports Ministry for Padma Bhushan. The ministry recently decided to recommend ace shuttler Saina Nehwal’s name for the Padma Bhushan award following a controversy over the issue.

"There is something rather off putting seeing our most accomplished sportspersons jostling each other to jump the "Padma" award queue," Omar, an avid sports buff, wrote on micro-blogging site

Omar said merit should be the only criterion to decide who gets the awards.

"It’s a great pity that our athletes feel they have to lobby & threaten to receive awards, criteria based on merit should be all that decides," he said.