THE INDIAN National Lok Dal (INLD) Monday questioned Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij’s announcement to donate Rs 50 lakh to Dera Sacha Sauda. The party said it will raise the matter during the ongoing Vidhan Sabha session.
Vij had on Saturday night visited the dera headquarters in Sirsa to watch the ongoing tournament of “Tiranga Rumal Chu”, a game created by the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
During the function, he announced an amount of Rs 50 lakh for the dera from his discretionary funds for promotion of sports.
Alleging that the state government has bowed down before such organisations, INLD leader Abhay Chautala said, “If the government is going to give money to such organisations whose heads face cases under Sections 376 and 302, then it is not right. What the court may decide in these cases is a separate issue. But if such organisatons get funds from the government, it only shows the government has bowed down to them. We will question him in the Assembly.”
Political parties are attributing various reaons behind Vij’s move.
While some opine that since the dera supported the BJP during elections, it was a way to pay them back. Some said that there is an expectation that when a minister visits such a place he will announce something. Appeasing the dera for support in the upcoming elections is being seen as another reason.
Vij says he has given the money not for the dera but for the sportspersons being trained there. He said players from the dera won several medals during the national games at Kerala.
The Congress leaders said the government should look at its own sport facilities that are in a pitiable state and rather provide funds to them.
Congress MLA Kuldeep Sharma said the dera was doing a good job training players and already has a good infrastructure. “The dera’s cricket stadium, hockey stadium, badminton hall, etc. are excellent. I do not object giving money to the dera. The Minister may give any amount he wants from his discretionary quota but there are around 200 Rajiv Gandhi sports stadiums in villages. What is their condition and what are they doing to promote sports there?” he said.