Politicians vie with each other to honour Haryana Olympians

August 28th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 28 (IANS) Politicians in Haryana are trying to outdo each other in honouring sportspersons from the state who performed well in the Beijing Olympics.A day after the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders and activists virtually hijacked Bhiwani boxers Vijender Singh, Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar to organize a big welcome Wednesday when they reached Bhiwani town, Congress Member of Parliament (MP) from Rohtak and Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s son, Deepinder Singh Hooda Thursday invited all opposition leaders of the state for the state-level function being organized Saturday at Bhiwani to honour Olympians.

“The function belongs to neither any political party nor is it a personal function. Rather, it is a state level function organised to honour our heroes. Beijing heroes are pride of us all and we are all proud of them,” Deepinder Hooda said in a statement here.

He said that all the political leaders of the state including Om Parkash Chautala, former chief minister, Abhey Singh Chautala, president All India Boxing Federation, Bhajan Lal, former chief minister, and Kuldeep Bishnoi, Bhiwani MP of Haryana Janhit Congress, should attend the function by cutting across party lines as sportspersons belong to sports only and not to political parties.

Taking a dig at the Chautalas for virtually making the arrival of the boxers in Bhiwani an Indian National Lok Dal affair, Hooda said that had Abhey Chautala invited him at the welcome ceremony of the boxers in Bhiwani, he would have willingly attended it.

The Haryana government will hold a function Saturday to honour shooting gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra, bronze medallists wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh and other boxers Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar.

Others to be honoured include badminton player Sania Nehwal, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and coach Jagdish Singh.

While boxer Vijender Singh will be given a cash reward of Rs.5 million, all others will get Rs.2.5 mn each.

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