Shooter Manu Bhaker, Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij
Shooter Manu Bhaker, Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij

Row over Rs 2 cr prize money: Manu should have consulted us before going public, says Vij

ANI | Updated: Jan 05, 2019 17:52 IST

Karnal (Haryana) [India], Jan 5 (ANI): Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij on Saturday said that shooter Manu Bhaker should have consulted the Sports Department officials before questioning him about Rs 2 crore cash reward on Twitter.
Manu, who hails from Goria village in Haryana's Jhajjar district, has won several gold medals in her maiden World Cup, Commonwealth Games, besides bagging first prize at the Youth Olympics.
Vij had promised the 16-year-old athlete that he would reward her with Rs 2 crore after she won the gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Argentina last year.
"Before going public, she should have confirmed with the Sports Ministry officials whether she is going to get the award the money or not. It is disgusting to denounce a State Government which is giving the highest awards in the country. If I have had tweeted that we will reward Rs 2 crore, then we will reward. We haven't said anywhere that we won't," Vij told ANI.
"The notification issued later is for the future. It is not for her. But without confirming anything, she created a controversy. Manu Bhaker had without verifying tweeted in public domain that her reward money has been dropped from Rs 2 crore to Rs 1 crore. Players should not behave like this," he added.
While asking Manu to apologise for creating controversy, Vij also said that he believes there is some political party behind her move.
"Some political parties have this habit of indulging in politics by keeping the gun on the players' shoulders. Players should not lend their shoulders to these politicians to be used as political pawns," Vij said.
Haryana Sports Minister further said that he has already given the prize money won by players on August 15 last year and will reward the remaining players "possibly in January this year."
"We have increased the prize money from Rs 10 lakh which was being given during the previous Congress government to Rs 2 crore for this event. We have delivered prize money won by Haryana players up to August on August 15 last year and remaining will be delivered possibly in January this year," he tweeted.
The war of words between the two started after Manu took to Twitter, citing a state government's notification that mentioned the award money for gold medal winners' as Rs 1 crore, on January 3 tweeted, "Someone in Haryana is really playing with Youth Olympic games cash prize!!!!! @narendramodi @mlkhattar @anilvijminister @Ra_THORe @AshokKhemka_IAS ... Is it really for encouraging or disheartening players ......Please...Let me play..."
The notification on "Cash awards to sportspersons in individual events" was issued by Haryana's Sports and Youth Affairs Department on December 27, 2018.
Manu also posted a couple of screenshots of Vij's tweets where he had promised a cash reward of Rs 2 crore to the shooter asking him, "If it is correct or just a jumla (false promise)." (ANI)