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Kiren Rijiju At ‘Home’ As Sports Minister

From being a high-profile Minister of State for Home Affairs for five years under Rajnath Singh from 2014, the 49-year-old, Kiren Rijiju was given the pleasant task of steering India’s sports programme, the Tokyo Olympics in particular. He held his own at the hustings of the 2019 Lok Sabha election from West Arunachal constituency, and became a giant killer, defeating two-time Chief Minister, Nabam Tuki by a huge margin of 1,67,132 votes. As a BJP candidate, he had won the 2014 election by 41,738 votes. The shift, as Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge), by replacing Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, a silver medalist in the Double Trap shooting competition in Athens 2004, saw Rijiju become proactive in almost every aspect of running the ministry with assistance from the Sports Authority of India. Rijiju was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handpicked man for the job that covers the entire gamut of sports in the country, including selection of sportspersons for the Arjuna, Khel Ratna, Dronacharya, Dhyan Chand, Tenzing Norgay, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad awards and the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar. For a little over two years, Rijiju has been a livewire, and in the vanguard of assisting athletes for the Tokyo Olympics. He has supported the official broadcaster of the Summer Olympics, Sony Pictures Sports Network’s Hum Honge Kamyaab campaign for India’s athletes.