Cash prize announced by Punjab gvt for Yuvi, Bhajji draws flak

Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh
Jalandhar, Apr 12: The Punjab government's announcement to award Rs one crore each to residents of the state Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh for being part of the Indian cricket team that won the World Cup 2011, has drawn flak from social activists and common people for ''squandering money'' and ''setting a wrong trend."

People have sought explanation from Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who made the announcement, over why tax-payers were not consulted before the announcement was made, as the money ultimately came from their pockets.

Questions have also been raised about why hockey players and other victorious sports personalities were not entitled to such cash awards.

Head of School of Social Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr Sukhdev Singh Sohal said, "It is wrong to announce such huge sums of money for the players. The Cricket World Cup is played only amongst 10-12 nations, whereas the Olympics and Commonwealth Games have many more participating countries and hence are truly international events."

Seeking clarification why tax-payers were not taken into account before the announcement was made, he said, "This amount could have been utilised in search of new talent in cricket in India. I want to know whether hockey and other players are also entitled to such money. If not, it is wrong to discriminate among various sports."

Terming the government''s move as "shameful", chief of the All India Anti-Terrorism Group M S Bitta asked why the government had money available only for cricketers and not for the widows of martyrs.

Chief of the MNREGA Workers' Association Jai Singh has sought to know from other states, besides Punjab, the source of money for showering the cricketers with cash prizes, bungalows and land.


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