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Sports Bill: Maken gets support from Cong leaders

Voices within the Congress are coming out openly in support of sports minister Ajay Maken's controversial National Sports Development Bill that seeks to make sports bodies, including the BCCI, transparent and accountable by bringing them within the ambit of RTI.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2011 01:25 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

Voices within the Congress are coming out openly in support of sports minister Ajay Maken's controversial National Sports Development Bill that seeks to make sports bodies, including the BCCI, transparent and accountable by bringing them within the ambit of RTI.

Senior general secretary BK Hariprasad fully backed Maken's move.

"There is nothing wrong if information is sought and given to the people. BCCI and all other sports bodies should come under RTI….Look at IPL…it has become Indian Paisa League… People have a right to know where all the funds are coming from and how and where this money is being spent," he said.

Party MP from Gurdaspur Partap Singh Bajwa, president of the Judo Federation of Punjab, too gave a thumbs up to Maken's efforts, saying bringing sports bodies under the purview of RTI "is a much needed step" in the right direction.

"Even if many sports bodies...are not taking public (government) funds, they are serving a public purpose of promoting the sport and, must for that purpose, fall within the RTI," he said.

The young MPs too have extended their support. "All sports bodies should be transparent and accountable. It's a genuine bill," said Pradeep Majhi, a Lok Sabha MP from Nabarangpur in Orissa.

The support from his party colleagues has come as a shot in the arm of Maken since the cabinet had rejected the draft at its Tuesday meeting.

However, Rajiv Shukla, a Congress MP but also a BCCI vice-president, has reacted sharply against the move.

"How can the BCCI be under RTI when it does not take any grant from government?" he had said after the Cabinet rejected the Bill.