After the state government took over the HPCA property in a midnight swoop, two Congress ministers on Sunday claimed that the government has the support of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and cricket-related activities would continue in the state as earlier.
In a joint press conference held here, food and civil supply minister GS Bali and urban development minister Sudhir Sharma said they had spoken to BCCI chief N Srinivasan, who has assured the state government full cooperation to continue the game of cricket.
“The government has also assured the BCCI that all the matches slated to be played at the Dharamsala cricket stadium will be held as per schedule and the government will coordinate with the board for smooth conduct of the games,” said Bali.
Maintaining that the state government was not against the game of cricket, the minister said all possible efforts would be made to promote the game in the state.
“The stadium will remain open for the common youth of the state who want make a career in this sport,” said Bali, adding that more matches would be held in Dharamsala and the government will appoint a coordinator to organise the events smoothly.
The ministers said the action was taken against the HPCA on the recommendations of the revenue department which had found many irregularities in the functioning of the sports body.
“The revenue department had put a proposal in the cabinet to take action against the HPCA citing irregularities. The land was allotted to the HPCA as a society for promotion of game of cricket, but the cricket body was carrying out commercial activities illegally by changing its status,” said Bali.
When asked why such action was taken when the district and sessions court at Dharamsala had already marked an investigation against the HPCA, while another inquiry was being conducted by the registrar of societies (ROS), the ministers said the action was taken on inquiry by the revenue department and ROS and vigilance inquiry was different.
“The government took action only after the HPCA confessed that it was a private limited company,” said Sharma.