Twitter witnessed an unseemly war of words between Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij and ace shooter Manu Bhaker over a promised cash reward. The controversy was sparked off by a tweet from the 16-year-old sportsperson, who wondered if Vij actually intended to honour his promise of giving her a cash reward of£2,00,000 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 Vij announcing that Haryana government will grant the sportsperson a cash prize of £2,00,000, as opposed to the Rs 1,00,000 monetary awards given by previous governments. 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 £2,00,000 as tweeted by me, and as per the notification at the time," Vij tweeted.
Vij continued in another tweet, "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." 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.
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.