The Haryana government has come up with a rule that will be a game-changer: no cash award for medal-winning sportspersons from outside the state or who haven’t represented the state at the nationals.
The immediate losers will be ace shuttler Saina Nehwal and London Olympics medallist shooter Gagan Narang, who were earlier rewarded with cash awards by former Haryana government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
They will not be considered for the awards by the current state government for their medals in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games as they have never represented the state in the Nationals nor do they have state domicile.
While Nehwal was in line for the cash award for a team bronze medal won in the 2014 edition of the Asian Games, Narang’s 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games cash award is stuck with the government.
Though all the Glasgow Games medalists were awarded by the Hooda government, Narang’s award form seeking Rs 62.5 lakh for his silver and bronze medals is lying at Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s office for approval.
The previous Hooda government has been accused of being generous with sportspersons who had thin connect with the state by virtue of either being born here or their forefathers’ domicile in the state. The underlying aim allegedly is to jack up state's contribution in the country's medal tally.
Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij said that in the new sports policy, to be released in January next year, there would be no provision of cash awards to the outsiders.
“The cash incentive is for players who are from Haryana and represent the state," said Vij, inviting suggestions from the sportspersons for the new sports policy in a meeting held in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
"We are not going to entertain the ones whose grandparents used to live in Haryana or the ones who seem to have a distant connection with the state," Vij added.
The previous government has so far bestowed cash awards for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, in which all the players who are not from Haryana got the cash awards running into several crores.
Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar (Rs 2 crore), along with shuttler Saina Nehwal (Rs 1crore) and shooter Gagan Narang (Rs 1crore) were given cash awards for winning medals in the 2012 London Olympics.