On Rs 1-crore trip to Olympics, Haryana minister skips the events he was supposed to attend
Anil Vij had earlier said he was accompanying the Indian contingent to learn about the problems faced by the state's players.
Haryana minister Anil Vij, who had accompanied the Indian delegation to the Olympics in Rio, on Wednesday came in for criticism for skipping the events starring his state's players. Before leaving for Brazil, the minister had tweeted that he was "leading a contingent to encourage Haryana players at the Olympics." On Sunday, the 63-year-old had told reporters at Rio that he wanted to stand by the players and "see what problems they are facing."
However, according to NDTV, the non-playing Haryana delegation was not spotted anywhere near the quarterfinal boxing match involving police officer Vikas Krishan or the events featuring discus thrower Seema Punia and wrestler Ravinder Khatri. They also missed Haryana Greco-Roman wrestler Hardeep Singh’s bout. According to the Hindustan Times, the delegation spent most of Tuesday at their beach hotel or exploring the city. The eight-member delegation's trip is expected to cost Haryana Rs 1 crore.
Indian officials have caused all sorts of problems at the Olympics this year. Sports Minister Vijay Goel was admonished by the International Olympic Committee after his delegation tried to enter areas that were off limits for non-participants. More than 40 officials are in Rio as guests of the Indian Olympic Association, the government body that picks athletes for the Games.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, a member of the Indian contingent said, “It is a mockery of the system. On one hand the sports department has failed to provide basic facilities to the players at thew grassroots level and no consumable sports items have been procured for the past two years. On the other hand, they [the sports department] are spending lakhs of rupees on their Rio visit."