first_imgUnion Sports Minister Ajay Maken’s attempts to reform sports bodies seem to have hit a roadblock.Sources told Headlines Today on Tuesday that some senior ministers were opposed to the Sports Development Bill, which seeks to bring Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under Right to Information Act (RTI) among other things. Sources said ministers have reservations against certain provisions of the proposed bill. They plan to raise the objections after it is introduced for the Cabinet approval later in the day. They have objection particularly to fixing the retirement age and tenure of chiefs of sports bodies.Some Opposition leaders have also expressed their reservations against the proposed bill. Interestingly, most of the sports bodies are headed by politicians without any change at the top for years.Reacting to the Sports Bill, senior BJP leader V.K. Malhotra said, “It is draconian law and not acceptable to any international sports bodies. If age is the factor, then prime minister, Delhi chief minister and Pranab Mukherjee (Finance Minister) are all above 70.”Some BCCI members have called it a tool to harass the cricket body.Young BJP MP and BCCI member Anurag Thakur opposed the proposal to bring the board under RTI. Thakur told Headlines Today that it could be used to harass the cricket body.”I oppose Sports Bill. RTI is a tool to harass. There is no age limit for politicians and prime minister. First the (sports) ministry should look into Sports Authority of India. It is an attempt to hide Commonwealth Games scam. Politicians are required in sport bodies,” Thakur insisted.advertisementCongress MP and BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla said, “I have not seen the draft bill. Show me the draft bill. How can it be under RTI when it does not take any grant from the government?”Former captains welcome moveFormer Indian cricket captains Kapil Dev and Mohammed Azharuddin favoured the BCCI becoming a national sports federation and falling under the purview of the RTI Act.Reacting to the developments on Sports Bill, former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev said, “If government formulates a rule, the BCCI should follow the framework of the guidelines and I believe BCCI can work independently but must always toe the government line.” Azharuddin, a Congress MP from Moradabad, said, “It is good for sports bodies and their professional running. It (law) should be for all Sports Federations and there should be no exception.”Another former national cricketer Ajay Jadeja said, “The BCCI is really doing well but if the government is making some law then everyone has to come under it. As far as RTI is concerned, selection should not be a factor. Otherwise, BCCI should not be worried about the RTI.”Bill may affect ruling, Oppn parties alikeA number of politicians heading various sports bodies of the country for years could be in trouble if the Sports Bill becomes law.The proposed bill stipulates a maximum term of 12 years for presidents and eight years for all other office-bearers of the national sports federations.Among those who could be affected by the legislation of Sports Bill include jailed Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi who heads the Athletics Federation of India and the party’s senior leader Jagdish Tytler who is the president of Judo Federation of India.Leaders of main opposition party BJP, including Yashwant Sinha who heads the All India Tennis Association and V.K. Malhotra who heads the Archery Association of India might also lose their authority.Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala was yet another politician who heads the Indian Boxing Federation.Left supports Maken’s Sports BillEven as some ministers and Congress MPs were opposed to Maken’s Sports Bill, it found support from the Left. CPI leader D. Raja said the BCCI must be accountable to government for the tax breaks it gets.”The BCCI gets tax exemptions and thus who is it accountable to. There should be some body that it should be answerable to,” Raja argued.last_img