SIRSA: Haryana Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij has courted a controversy by donating Rs 50 lakh to a religious sect, which had extended support to BJP in the assembly polls, for promoting rural games.
Vij, who recently returned from Rio de Janeiro after watching the Olympics, announced a donation of Rs 50 lakh to Dera Sacha Sauda yesterday. The Minister witnessed a sporting event where Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was also present.
"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.
"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," Vij said.
Notably, all the games played at the Dera academy have been created by Gurmeet Ram Rahim himself and are not played at national or international level.
Reacting to the Vij's action, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala today said, "I haven't seen all angles of this story. All political parties are on the side of money being donated to encourage sports. Anil Vij has to consider his decision about attachment to people.
"He is in a responsible political and constitutional position. He has to take a decision about this behaviour. If he doesn't take any decision then people of Haryana will have to act."
Vij said, "Dera Sacha Sauda is already promoting sports for a long time and now BJP government will promote all sports related activities by making 20 Olympic Nurseries. In each Haryana district about 400 Nurseries (subsidiaries) will be set up", he said.
"These Nurseries will provide many athletes for next Olympics", he added.