After facing backlash from gold medalists Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat over reduction in prize money to athletes and negligence of state government towards sports fraternity, Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij chose to defend the saying that it has never disrespected any athlete.
Speaking to media over the backlash, Anil Vij claimed that the Haryana government has always given the biggest prize money as compared to other states in India and that it has never shown disrespect to the state athletes.
"We have not disrespected anyone. Haryana government gives the biggest prize money and provide them with the best jobs. We have always respected the athletes," said Anil Vij speaking to media.
This development comes after wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia hit out at the state government for cutting the prize money given to athletes from Haryana. Both Phogat and Punia accused the state government of being negligent towards sports in the state and said that the constant disrespect meted out to the athletes will lower their morale.
Vinesh Phogat took to Twitter to say that the government rolled back on its promise made five years ago that no athlete will be forced to leave Haryana and will be guaranteed respect and reward. "Every time you try right here how to annoy players. I have not seen such an insulting Government of sportspersons in Haryana till today. I want to ask you how many players you have done to give you prize money and jobs till date," she wrote on Twitter.
"The youth of Haryana have given many of the best medals to the country. Haryana may be a small state, but the players here have made the whole country proud many times. Don't break their morale by cutting down the amount that they get. I request the Haryana Government to reconsider this decision," wrote Bajrang Punia, the Asian Games gold medalist.