Badminton Association of India is faced with a second lawsuit within a week over the Indian squad’s selection for the 2018 Asian Games.
Sowjanaya Jakka Reddy, the grandmother of badminton player Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy, has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the Badminton Association of India, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand. The Union of India through the secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the Indian Olympic Association through the secretary, too have been made respondents.
The petitioner has accused the BAI of not selecting Vaishnavi, a “talented” shuttler, in the Indian women’s team for the Asian Games 2018 “for totally malafide, motivated and perverse reasons”.
The petition states that Vaishnavi was deliberately excluded at the behest of Gopichand with the motive to include his daughter Gayatri Gopichand Pullela, who does not even figure in the top 300 in the BWF women’s singles rankings.
Last week another shuttler Aparna Balan had filed a similar writ petition in the Kerala High court against the same respondents.
Vaishnavi and her family have also accused the BAI of selecting her for the doubles category of the World Junior Championships and to withdraw her entry. Her grouse with the BAI then was that she is a singles player and she was upset that she was paired with fellow singles player Malvika Bansod for a doubles event.
Her grandmother had slammed the decision in a letter to the BAI, the Prime Minister, the Sports Minister and other higher authorities. She had alleged that there was a conflict of interest issue against Gopichand. She even then had accused favouritism towards Gayatri, who was selected for the Under-19 singles, where she was unranked.