Bajrang Punia hit back at the Haryana government on Thursday, responding to a video of state Sports Minister Anil Vij backing the state’s new prize money policy on Twitter.
Punia, along with other Haryana wrestlers including Yogeshwar Dutt and Vinesh Phogat, has been critical about the government’s latest cash policy that only awards full prize for winning a medal in the higher category.
Haryana Sports Minister Vij said his government were going by the rules after athletes expressed their displeasure over the government’s new cash policy.
“We have not deducted any money from their prizes and these players know about this. We have following these rules since the last 20-25 years and the prize money has been deducted of those players who have won more than one medals in a single year. For a single year, the largest award won by the players is given in full amount, for the second largest award 50% is given and followed subsequently,” Vij can be heard saying in the video.
Vij cited the example of Yogeshwar Dutt who bagged gold at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games with a total cash prize of Rs 3 crores but was deducted Rs 75 lakhs going by the policy.
“This year the CWG and Asiad were together in the same year. Back in 2014 when Yogeshwar [Dutt] had won gold in Commonwealth, he got Rs 1.5 crore and he also won gold at the Asian Games for which he deserved Rs 3 crore in total. But according to the policy, we had to deduct Rs 75 lakhs from the Commonwealth Games prize money. It is according to the rules which have been followed since a long time,” Vij said.
Displeased by his latest remarks over the policy, Punia slammed the Haryana government for making ‘false promises’.
“I request the Haryana government to change their habit of telling lies who are keen on proving their players as false and greedy. When Yogeshwar Dutt received the prize money under the sports policy of Hooda’s government, the amount was not deducted,” the 25-year-old tweeted.
“My point is not just about deducting the prize money. There are many false promises made by the Haryana Government, such as the closure of prize money for cadet players and the false claim of giving jobs,” he wrote in another tweet.