Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday opposed the IOC's move to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic programme and appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and ensure that the sport is not excluded from the quadrennial event.
He requested the Centre to form a group of nations and raise the voice collectively against the International Olympic Committee's proposed move before a final decision on the issue is taken in September.
"The Prime Minister, Government of India (GoI) should not wait for a final decision in September 2013. Let us take the initiative, take people associated with wrestling and oppose the move," Modi said at the concluding ceremony of 'Khel Mahakumbh', an annual mega sports event of the state, here.
"We should form a union and present our case with strength and ensure wrestling is not dropped from Olympics."
Modi said wrestling has been at the Games since 1890s and Asian countries have excelled in the sport.
"To call wrestling not modern is an insult. It is a traditional sport. Asian nations, people must come forward to ensure wrestling remains part of Olympics," Modi tweeted.
The chief minister said to oppose a sport like wrestling in the name of modernity is an insult to a discipline, which has been a part of our society since the Mahabharata days.
"There must be no 'games' (politics) in sports!. For any sports lover this is not a good news. Wrestling is amongst the oldest sports," Modi said.
Story first published on: Wednesday, 13 February 2013 23:07 IST