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After Khel Ratna name change, BJP leader asks Karnataka CM to rename Indira canteens

In a tweet Saturday, BJP National General Secretary C.T. Ravi said Kannadigas should not be reminded of 'dark days of Emergency' with these Indira canteens.

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New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the renaming of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting honour, to the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, a clamour has risen across the country to change the names of awards, stadiums and even government schemes and canteens.

The latest to join the list is BJP National General Secretary C.T. Ravi who has asked Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S. Bommai to change the name of ‘Indira canteens’ across the state to ‘Annapoorneshwari Canteen’.

In a tweet Saturday, Ravi wrote: “Request Chief Minister Sri @BSBommai to rename Indira Canteens across Karnataka as “Annapoorneshwari Canteen” at the earliest. Don’t see any reason why Kannadigas should be reminded of the dark days of Emergency while they are having food.”

Indira canteens were launched in Karnataka by the Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, in 2017. These canteens provide food at subsidised rates, costing Rs 5 for breakfast and Rs 10 for lunch and dinner. During the nationwide lockdown last year, the state government had provided free food to economically weaker sections through these canteens.

Also read: New CM Bommai expands Karnataka cabinet, Yediyurappa’s son and detractors left out

Controversy around Khel Ratna award

In a tweet Friday, Prime Minister Modi had announced the decision to change the name of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award after Major Dhyan Chand. He attributed the decision to “requests from citizens across India”.

However, there was widespread outrage on social media soon after with many opposition leaders calling out the “petty politics” involved in the decision.

Congress National spokesperson, Shama Mohamed, said that unless the Narendra Modi stadium is also renamed, the move to rename the Khel Ratna award “reeks of political vindictiveness” by a “petty govt”.


The world’s largest cricket stadium in Motera was renamed after PM Modi in February 2020. It was earlier called the Sardar Patel stadium.

This was a sentiment echoed by several social media users including former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan who tweeted: “Hopefully in the future stadium names will be after sportsmen too.”

YouTuber Dhruv Rathee also called for the renaming of the Arun Jaitley stadium, previously the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. It was renamed after the former finance minister’s death in 2019.

Meanwhile Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala called the move “myopic” while addressing reporters Friday.

“The Congress welcomes that the Khel Ratna Award has been named after the most celebrated sportsperson and hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. We sincerely hope Modi ji should not have used his myopic political motives to drag the name of a celebrated player like Major Dhyan Chand,” he said.

Launched in 1991-92, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award comprises a medal, a certificate and cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.

Also read: Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh says he’ll return Khel Ratna award over farm laws


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