Chandigarh: It was a felicitation function meant to honour him but Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda created quite a flutter by taking a jibe at star boxer Vijender Singh's "under-performance" at last month's Olympics in London.

At a function organised by Haryana police to honour its seven sportspersons for their performance at the London Games here, Hooda took a potshot at Vijender who was sitting among the players who were honoured.

"No doubt Vijender is an excellent boxer...but you (Vijender) stop taking tours (other than boxing) to perform much better," Hooda said pointing to the strapping six-footer during his speech.

Hooda was apparently referring to Vijender's stint in television shows and modelling assignments.

"Tu tour laganey band kar de (you stop taking tours)," Hooda said.
Vijender, the 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist, who lost in the quarterfinals in the London edition, made light of the comment saying, "He should tell me which tours he is talking about."

"It was just friendly banter," the former world number one middleweight boxer said.

During the function Hooda announced that Jai Bhagwan (boxer) and Seema Antil (discuss thrower) would be promoted to Inspectors in Haryana Police.

However, another puglist Manoj Kumar from Rajaund in Kaithal from the state was conspicious by his absence. Sumit Sangwan (Boxer) and Krishna Poonia too were not present during the function.

Among the sportpersons honoured were Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, hockey players Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh, Seema Antil (Discuss), Vikas Krishan (Boxing).

Later Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) General Secretary Ajay Chautala told reporters that "Hooda instead of giving suggestions to others (like to boxer Vijender) should concentrate on Haryana as a state."

He also lambasted at Hooda for "bias" in honouring the players from the state.
Chautala said that it was only one sportsperson Yogeshwar Dutt from Haryana who had won the medal not only for the country but for the state. Rest five other medal winners in London games do not belong to Haryana.

"The other medal winners (out of whom Haryana claims that four belongs to it) have never represented Haryana at any level in any sporting event," he said.

"Hooda is resorting to pick and choose policy in honouring players from the state," Chautala rued.

Earlier during the funtion, Dutt was announced to be presented with Rs 51 lakh and the other players rs 11 lakhs each.

According to the mentor, the duo hit peak form in 2003. Although they could not eke out the desired results from the 2004 Athens Olympics, they certainly did catch everyone's attention with their skills.

"According to me both Sushil and Yogeshwar were at their peak in 2003 and if you see Sushil has since then being among the top seven-eight wrestlers of the world.

"Although Yogeshwar did not had the same amount of success at the international level but he also has been rated among the best. The credit must really go to them for maintaining that level for so long," said Yashvir, who looked content with the performance of his wards in London.

"We couldn't got the gold that feeling will remain, but I am satisfied with what my wards have achieved," he said, adding that if the two continue with their efforts they have a chance to better their performance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

"If they maintain their focus there is no reason why they can't better their performance at 2016 Olympics," he said.

Talking about the younger lot, Yashvir said India has got a great future in low weight categories, but expressed his concern when it comes to the heavy weight.

"In low weight -- 55kg to 74kg -- we will continue to do well. Amit (Kumar Dahiya) is a good prospect he will only get better from here. There are few other youngsters who are shaping up well. Praveen Rana in particular is the one who has the potential to replace Sushil whenever he decides to quit the sport," Yashir said.

"But the problem is in the heavy weight category. Unfortunately our boys in the heavy weight get swayed by the amount of money they get from local tournaments. So they don't want to compete in the international events. There needs to be a concerted effort in this regard," he said.


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