- Kiren Rijiju will taking charge of the Youth and Sports Ministry.
- He is also the incharge of Minority Affairs.
- Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was the sports minister earlier.
Well-known for his oratory skills, Kiren Rijiju has a challenging term as the new Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports ahead of him with the Tokyo Olympics just under a year away.
Along with the Independent charge of the Sports ministry, Rijiju will also be taking over as the Minister of State for Minority Affairs.
“My heartfelt gratitude to PM Narendra Modi for reposing faith in me to be a member of his council of ministers. I sincerely thank Amit Shahji along with karyakartas and well wishers across India,” Rijiju tweeted after taking oath on Thursday.
I have taken charge of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. I also took charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs. With utmost dedication I'll deliver as per the expectation of PM @narendramodi ji and the people of India. pic.twitter.com/NGHEcx0B2M
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 31, 2019
Having taken the formal charge on Friday, Rijiju announced the Olympics as the pinnacle of world sports while also insisting that other competitions such as — Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and other major events including the National Games — were equally important.
However, he avoided commenting on the participation policies for some of the major qualifying events that India is likely to host in his first interaction with the media.
“I cannot comment on the affairs of the ministry; I am yet to be briefed by my officers in terms of immediate requirement of jobs, policies vision, etc. But there is something called continuity. Good things from the past should be carried on and new things to be added, if they are good. Being a minister doesn’t mean everything; it is always a question of teamwork, which is the essence of any success,” Rijiju said.
“Khelo India will be bigger”
Underlining the power of youth, he also said that the MYAS was an important part of the government. “I feel this is one of the most important ministries where we can galvanise the youth, who are the power of the country. In my earlier role (as MoS for Home) it was a different way of working; Here it will be completely different. This is a soft ministry and is more about youth and a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the youth of the country,” he said.
Rijiju further promised that Khelo India — a brainchild of exiting Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore — would continue and even spread to more parts of the country after reviews. “Once you start work, then the performance will be determined on the basis of how much you can give to the ministry and how much understanding you have.
“Both traditional sports in villages and modern Olympic sports need equal attention and support. Rathore is a good friend and I spoke to him just now. We are a team. After understanding the ministry, I will go ahead with the Khelo India or anything else in all parts of the country,” he said.