Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij has been making headlines for stirring up controversies. Earlier Vij faced criticism after he said that he lead a delegation to Rio Olympics to focus on the players from Haryana. Now the minister got mired in yet another controversy when on Sunday he donated Rs 50 lakh to Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. In the Tiranga Rumal Chhu program at Sirsa district, Vij announced the donation at Dera Sacha Sauda in the presence of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. “It is a very good thing. Along with religion, education and games are there, that means they are trying to prepare a complete human being,” Vij said about the activities at the Dera Sacha Sauda Stadium. “He is encouraging the games. Since the schools are also encouraging games here, I would like to donate Rs 50 Lakh from my discretionary fund,” he added.
This move by the minister has received a lot of flak, from the opposition and also social media users especially after the minister defended his actions by saying that he is the owner of the funds and that he can spend it in any way to improve the condition of sports. While the CM of the state has a discretionary grant of Rs 40 crore per year, ministers like Vij has Rs 5 crore a year. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, became popular last year when his movie ‘MSG: The Messenger’ released. Later a comedian Kiku Sharda got arrested for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Gurmeet’s followers. The sports minister defended his move by saying, “What is wrong with it? They run schools, sports are promoted there. I cannot give more than this. If I had more money, I would have given it,” he said. The Twitterati had a few points to make on the issue:
Haryana Health minister Anil Vij gives 50 lakh to Dera Sacha Sauda sect.. Tax payer’s money being used to please a religious dera
— Kanwal Chadha (@KanwalChadha) August 29, 2016
it is for production of next film for Dera Sacha Sauda… anil vij aspires to be superhero like his gurudev!!!
— Lambodar Mishra (@lamboomishra) August 29, 2016
— Anuj Raina (@anujraina133) August 29, 2016
WTF Anil Vij donates 50L of discretionary funds(tax-payers fund) 4 Dera’s Unheard & unrecognised sports, just after the Olympians r feted?
— Akash Paul (@iAkashPaul) August 29, 2016
boo to ministers Anil vij and mahesh Sharma for their actions and comments, highly deplorable
— Robinson J (@robinjindia) August 29, 2016
— SANJIV SAIGAL (@ssaigal13) August 29, 2016
Interestingly, the games which are played inside Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s academy are created by the man himself. Those games are not played at any other level. Vij had recently drawn ire when he led a delegation with two MLAs to Rio de Janeiro and gave the reason that he was there to support athletes from Haryana at the Olympics.