Haryana sports minister Anil Vij hits back at Manu Bhaker after shooter reminds promise of Rs 2 crore

Haryana sports minister Anil Vij has slammed India's shooting sensation Manu Bhaker for criticising the state government over a promise of a cash prize for her Youth Olympics gold medal in October 2018.

Vij stated that Bhaker should have communicated with the sports ministry first before taking her complaint to social media and criticise the Haryana government further. Also, he clarified that the money promised by him will be duly paid to her.

"Manu Bhaker should have first confirmed it from the Sports Deptt. before going to public domain. It is disgusting to denounce a State Govt which is giving highest awards in the Country. Bhaker will will will get 2 crores as tweated by me and as per notification at that time.

"There should be some sense of decipline in players. Bhaker should feel sorry for creating this controversy. She has a long way to go. She should focus on her game only," Vij tweeted on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Bhaker posted screenshots of Vij's tweet in which he had promised her cash award to the tune of Rs 2 crore on behalf of the state government. "Sir Please confirm if it is correct... Or just Jumla (sic)," Bhaker wrote on Twitter. After Bhaker became the first Indian shooter to win gold at Youth Olympics, Vij had tweeted, "Congratulations to Manu Bhaker for winning shooting gold in Youth Olympics. Haryana government will give a cash prize of Rs 2 crore to Manu Bhaker for winning this gold. Previous governments used to pay Rs 10 lakh only."

The shooter also felt that someone in the Haryana government has been playing "games" with the money that was to be awarded to the medallists.

As per the state government's changed policy, which came into effect before the Youth Olympics, Rs 2 crore was marked for the gold medallists, Rs 1.25 crore for silver medallists and Rs 80 lakh for the bronze winners. Before that, the YOG medallists would get Rs 10 lakh, Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh in descending order.

However, the government again revised its policy last December and brought the amount down to Rs 1 crore for gold, Rs 65 lakh for silver and Rs 40 lakh for the bronze medallists.

Bhaker's father Ram Kishan Bhaker, who is a chief engineer in the Merchant Navy, said moves such as this can break the morale of athletes.

"Far from motivating sportspersons, such moves will break their morale. She is yet to get the promised cash award and now they have revised the policy again. I really hope enough thought is given before they finalise something. Otherwise, it can be detrimental to an athlete's career," Bhaker senior told PTI.

Bhaker had a phenomenal year in 2018 in which she won the Commonwealth Games gold in Gold Coast, a month after winning gold in the 10m air pistol individual and team events at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, which was her maiden appearance in a senior meet.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2019 11:58:52 IST