Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday took dig at Odisha Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik who has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to officially recognise hockey as the country's national game.
Hockey is the unofficial national game of the country and with Odisha all set to host the World Cup in November, Patnaik asked Prime Minister to make the status official.
"In India every sports has a place. There was a time when people thought that no sport will grow like cricket. Now several sports are growing. Is it necessary to give a official designation... then only people play and love it?" said Rathore, who unveiled the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 trophy here.
"Ask him (Patnaik) that why didn't they (the government) ask the people of country to do yoga which is 1,000 years old. Ask about his views on this," he added.
Rathore also spoke about his experience of witnessing kabaddi increasing its stature.
"Today 33 countries are playing this sport and the fact that it has come to UAE now, and crossed the Indian borders is extremely positive step. Many more countries will join it. I could sense the excitement here. So my compliments to all the organisers," he said.
The former Olympian said this indigenous sport has got all the ingredients to become an Olympic sport.