Prime Minister Narendra Modi had intervened to help two of the athletes to get better medical care and training in the US before the Tokyo Olympics games, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh revealed.
Singh is in Delhi to seek 'blessings' from the top leadership including the Prime Minister and also to seek financial assistance for various infrastructure-related projects in the state ahead of assembly polls.
Speaking to ANI, the Manipur Chief Minister said when he had met Prime Minister this week, he thanked him for helping Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu.
He then narrated what Chanu had told him at a public function, meant to felicitate her, about the help she had received from the Prime Minister's Office.
"I was surprised at her revelation about the help she had received from the Prime Minister. She disclosed that if she wasn't given an opportunity to go to the US for her muscle operation and practice, she wouldn't be able to achieve this goal. She narrated how PM Modi helped her directly. The Prime Minister helped the athlete and micromanaged the issue. People of Manipur were overjoyed to know how PM Modi helped her," said Singh.
Singh thanked PM Modi when the two met recently.
"PM Modi kept smiling when we thanked him for helping Chanu. He also helped one more athlete. This is the greatness of the leader," said Singh.
"Chanu was having back pain and this message went to PMO and PM Modi directly intervened and all expenditure on her treatment and training abroad was taken care of by the PM," Singh said.
"I am told that she isn't the only one whom PM Modi helped. And the Prime Minister never mentioned it even once anywhere. I won't name but there is another athlete who PM Modi had sent to the US for medical attention and training. Being an Indian and under PM Modi we feel so proud," the Manipur Chief Minister said.
Chanu had opened India's medals tally in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics as she bagged a silver in the Women's 49kg category.
The Indian weightlifter last week received a rousing reception in Imphal as she arrived in her native state Manipur, after a sensational show in the ongoing Tokyo Games.
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur felicitated India's first medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics Mirabai Chanu.
After being felicitated, the Indian weightlifter arrived in Imphal amid a roaring welcome by the people. Everyone lined up in Imphal streets to welcome the Olympic champion.
Singh also dialled Nilakanta Sharma on Thursday to congratulate the hockey team on winning bronze in Tokyo Olympics. Thrilled, Singh said he was expecting gold but glad that they are bringing a medal home. The CM has assured Rs 75 lakhs and a government job to Sharma.
"He is from my village and I didn't know he was working in Railways. When I asked him what does he expect, he said a government job considering his medal. I agreed," said the Manipur CM.
A state with a population of 30 lakh, Manipur has given five players who represented India in Tokyo Olympics. These are weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, boxer Mary Kom, men's hockey mid fielder Nilakanta Sharma, hockey player Sushila Devi and India's sole Judo athlete Shushila Devi Likmabam.
The CM informed that there have been 19 Olympic players that the state has given to the country to date.
With a renewed thrust on sports, the state has also got National Sports University and the construction of its new campus is going on in full swing, said Singh.
"PM Modi gave Manipur National Sports University because he saw the potential it has in sports. The university work is in progress. We are providing old buildings to the university for its students and professors as the new campus is under construction," said Singh.
Commenting on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's tweet about comparing India with China's attitude towards its sportspersons for bringing any medal lesser than gold, CM said, "People like him have ruined the country. We should see our infrastructure and investment in sports and then compare with China. We are doing well now. Look at hockey, we are fourth in the world. Such people exploit India."
The tweet was deleted by Tharoor, later.