In what could come as a major embarrassment for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday forgot the full name of Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu while addressing a huge gathering which had assembled for the reception arranged for Haryana’s bronze medallist Sakshi Malik.
To make matters worse, he then referred to Sindhu as hailing from Karnataka.
"It's a proud moment for us that two of our daughters won medals on Raksha Bandhan festival. Sakshi Malik from Haryana and Sindhu (asks others what is her name) ... P V Sindhu from Karnataka (Sindhu is from Hyderabad)," Khattar said addressing the reception accorded by the Haryana government to Sakshi Malik in Bahadurgarh town near Rohtak after she arrived this morning from Rio de Janeiro.
Notably, the Khattar government had also announced a Rs 50 lakh reward Hyderabad-based badminton silver medallist Sindhu.
During the course of his 11-minute speech at Bahadurgarh, Khattar also said that his government will identify and help the atheletes who showed good timings during ongoing police recruitment drive in Haryana.
"The information we have, some of those who came there, even though they came for seeking jobs, their running time record shows that they even surpassed and bettered the time of some athletes who took part in the Olympics. We will identify them and help them move forward."
Khattar was initially scheduled to honour Sakshi Malik at her village Mokhra Khas in Rohtak but later decided to felicitate her at Bahadurgarh. He was accompanied by his senior cabinet colleagues Capt Abhimanyu and O P Dhankar, among others, to welcome the star athlete.
At the grand felicitation function, Sakshi was handed a cheque of Rs 2.5 crore by the Chief Minister.
The CM also announced cash reward of Rs 10 lakh each for the 23-year-old wrestler's two coaches, besides sports nursery and stadium for her village Mokhra Khas.
Sakshi was also appointed as Haryana's brand ambassador for Narendra Modi Government's flagship 'Beti Padhao-Beti Bachao' programme.
(With inputs from PTI)