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Modi Cabinet: Vijay Goel takes oath as India's new Sports Minister

With about a month to go for the Rio Olympics, the vacant Sports Minister role has been filled.

Vijay Goel with Prime Minister Narendra Modi 

With less than a month to go for the Rio Olympics, the vacant Sports Minister role will now be filled by Rajya Sabha member Vijay Goel, who will be replacing the new Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal. A representative of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), he took oath today at Rashtrapati Bhawan as a part of Narendra Modi’s new cabinet inclusion.

The 62-year old is widely known for leading a country-wide campaign on banning lottery, and was also a key part of the prohibition of smoking in public places. The former Delhi BJP President has not had much experience in sports administration. Post his oath taking, he said, “Our goal is now to give our athletes the correct environment and exposure to win us medals in Rio. This is what the previous Minister focused on doing and we will build on that. Other aspects such as infrastructural development is also on the agenda. The FIFA U-17 football World Cup will also be an important goal for the Ministry, as the entire world’s eyes will be on us.” 

Will provide best platform for Rio bound athletes: Vijay Goel 

He added, “I don’t want to get into details now as I have a vision in plan. I will reveal that in the days to come.” 

Speaking about the number of medals India could win at Rio. He said, “My best wishes are there with all the participants. It’s difficult to say how many now, but we will definitely do very well.” 

Goel also served as the Union Minister of Labour, Parliamentary Affairs and Sports Ministry, during the NDA regime in 2004. He added, “I have been in this Ministry before, and I know how it works, so some big plans are in store.” 

He has been a Member of Parliament in the11th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabha from the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi. 


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