- Manu Bhaker and Haryana minister Anil Vij had a war of words on Twitter
- She asked whether Anil Vij intended to give her the promised cash reward
- Anil Vij had announced a cash prize of Rs 2 crore for shooter Manu Bhaker
Twitter witnessed an unseemly war of words between Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij and ace shooter Manu Bhaker over a promised cash reward on Friday.
The controversy was sparked off by a tweet from the 16-year-old sportsperson, who wondered if Mr Vij actually intended to honour his promise of giving her a cash reward of Rs 2 crore for winning the Youth Olympic Games-2018. Her post contained screenshots from the politician's Twitter handle and a simple query: "Sir, Please confirm if it is correct... Or just Jumla (false promise)..."
The screenshots showed Mr Vij announcing that Haryana's BJP-led administration will grant the sportsperson a cash prize of Rs 2 crore, as opposed to the Rs 10-lakh monetary awards given by previous governments. Ms Bhaker's question gave rise to an uproar on social media, forcing the politician to come forth again with a clarification that the government does intend to award her. And then came the rebukes.
"Manu Bhaker should have first confirmed it from the sports department before posting (such questions) on the public domain. It is disgusting to denounce a state government that's giving the highest awards in the country. Bhaker will get the Rs 2 crore as tweeted by me, and as per the notification at the time," Mr Vij tweeted.
He was not done.
"There should be some sense of discipline in players. Bhaker should feel sorry for creating this controversy. She has a long way to go. She should focus on her game only," the politician said in another tweet.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar later weighed in on Mr Vij's behalf too. "Manu Bhaker will get award money as per the rules of the department, but tweeting over it is not good. I think nobody should have a problem with the rules," he said.
Ms Bhaker has made her mark in shooting ranges across the world, winning multiple golds in the ISSF World Cup and Commonwealth Games, besides the top prize at the Youth Olympics last October. She hails from Goria village in Jhajjar.
Early last year, sportspersons had locked horns with the Haryana government over a controversial order requiring them to deposit one-third of their income from professional sports or commercial endorsements with the state sports council. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar later suspended the order.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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