Naveen Patnaik’s sister Gita Mehta declines Padma Shri citing timing of award

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s sister Gita Mehta, who has been conferred with the Padma Shri, has refused to accept the award which the Centre announced on the eve of Republic Day.She was awarded the Padma Shri in the field of literature and education.The awards were announced on the eve of the Republic Day yesterday.In a press statement issued from New York, Mehta said she was refusing the award as the timing for it was not right, according to a local website.”I am deeply honoured that the Government of India should think me worthy of a Padma Shri but with great regret I feel I must decline as there is a general election looming and the timing of the award might be misconstrued, causing embarrassment both to the government and myself, which I would much regret,” Mehta said in the statement.Notably, the general election is due in a few months. It has been rumoured in the political circles that the Centre’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was trying to woo Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in case there was a hung assembly.The move is being seen as an attempt to win BJD’s support by conferring award to Naveen Patnaik’s sister, Gita Mehta.Gita Mehta has authored books like Karma Cola (1979), Raj (1989), A River Sutra (1993), Snakes and Ladders: Glimpses of Modern India (1997) and Eternal Ganesha: From Birth to Rebirth (2006).Mehta has also produced and/or directed 14 documentaries.Also Read | Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri among 9 sports stars honoured with Padma awardsAlso Watch | Naveen Patnaik’s sister Gita Mehta refuses to accept Padma Shri awardAlso Watch | Unsung heroes of nation awarded with Padma Shriadvertisementlast_img read more

Nathan McCullum overwhelmed by Eden Park atmosphere: Felt like I was in India

first_imgTeam India would have felt like they were playing on their home ground during the second T20 international against New Zealand as Indian fans filled up the Eden Park stadium in Auckland on Friday.Nobody would have blamed the Indian players if they had mistaken Eden Park with the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai or Eden Gardens in Kolkata as most of the banners and flags were in support of Rohit Sharma’s side.And they didn’t disappoint the thousands who turned up at the ground as India cruised to a 7-wicket win over New Zealand to level the three-match series 1-1.Former New Zealand all-rounder Nathan McCullum, who was in the stadium with his family, described the atmosphere as “great” and even reminded him of what it was like playing in India.”Took my family to the cricket tonight for @BLACKCAPS Great atmosphere @edenparknz with the Indian fans making it an awesome time for the kids. Loud and energetic.Gotta love the passion for the Indian team and players that the fans present. Felt like I was back in India,” McCullum tweeted.Took my family to the cricket tonight for @BLACKCAPS Great atmosphere @edenparknz with the Indian fans making it an awesome time for the kids. Loud and energetic.Gotta love the passion for the Indian team and players that the fans present.Felt like I was back in IndiaNathan McCullum (@MccullumNathan) February 8, 2019New Zealand captain Kane Williamson also acknowledged the crowd after the defeat at the post-match presentation.”Brilliant crowd today. Today wasn’t as close as we would have liked, but having a full house like Eden Park, there isn’t any better atmosphere in the world,” Williamson said and hoped to see another full house at Hamilton in the next match.advertisement”One-all in the series, hopefully we will get another outstanding crowd.” India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I (Black Caps Twitter Photo)Indian fans, who significantly outnumbered the local crowd inside the stadium, got to witness a special performance from Rohit’s team as they chased down 159 inside 19 overs to level the three-match series 1-1.Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya bowled an outstanding four-over spell, taking 3-28 as India contained New Zealand to 158-8 as it batted first after winning the toss. He was man of the match.Rohit Sharma then set up the India run chase in a 79-run partnership for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan, who made 30 from 31 balls, and Pant saw India home in an unbroken 44-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made 20 from 17 balls.India reached its winning target with seven balls remaining. Rohit top-scored with 50 while Pant and Dhoni remained unbeaten on 40 and 20 respectively.India’s win sets up the series nicely as both teams now stand level at one-win each. The third and final match will now be a decider and will be played in Hamilton on February 10 (Sunday).Also Read | Captain Rohit Sharma emulates Virat Kohli as India hammer New Zealand in AucklandAlso Read | India vs New Zealand: Krunal Pandya elated after 2nd man-of-the-match award in 8 T20IsAlso Read | Rohit Sharma overtakes Martin Guptill to become highest run-scorer in T20IsAlso Read | India vs New Zealand: India’s openers took the game away from us, says Kane Williamsonlast_img read more