It is an irony that within days of the historic debate on the Lokpal
Bill in Parliament during which the MPís swore by transparency and
accountability, that the Union cabinet scuttled the much needed
National Sports bill moved by the Sports Minister Mr. Ajay Maken.
In what amounted to a rank conflict of interest, heavyweights in the
Cabinet heading key sports bodies, participated in the cabinet meeting
and thrashed the bill. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh only proved
once again to be a lame duck. Why are these sports bodies refusing to
come within the ambit of the Right to Information Act? What are they
trying to conceal from the public domain.
Sports is one arena that definitely has to be above Politics. It would
have been an ideal situation if there was a total ban on politicians
holding posts in sports organisations. Let the sports field be managed
by sportsmen and sportswomen. We have so many of them and they will do
us proud. We cannot afford to have any more Kalmadis around. May the
Sports turf be cleared of politicians and the scams that accompany
New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken unveiled his new revised Sports Bill on Monday. Hinting at the BCCI's opposition to it, Maken said that the Bill will enhance greater transparency in the functioning of sports federations. He added that sporting bodies which do not want to come under the RTI raise suspicion.
"We strongly feel the functioning of the sports federations should be transparent. If they oppose it then there is something wrong," Maken said.
Maken also said that all sporting bodies will be in the ambit of the RTI with an exclusion clause provided to protect certain information.
He said that unlike other countries, the news of Indian sportspersons' medical health and fitness is in the public domain which is a disadvantage to the players. Since the BCCI has come under NADA, Maken said the Sports Bill will allow the BCCI to follow the same policy that is followed internationally.
"Another aspect is that our players medical health or state of fitness is in public domain which isn't there in other countries. This will be a disadvantage to our players," said Maken.
Questioning the age and norms tenure, Maken said, "We have age and tenure norms as we said earlier. It is something which forms a part of universal rules of good governance. When 70 years is the age norm for International Olympic Council, their office bearers can't be more than that so why should our office bearers be more than 70?"
The question now is if Maken will make any headway with his cabinet colleagues, many of whom wear a BCCI hat as well, for the moment they are adopting a studied silence.
"They have brought some changes, let the legal committee of BCCI go through it then we will be responding to that," Rajiv Shukla said.
It is clear that Maken is determined to get the development bill passed even in the face of tough opposition from his colleagues in Parliament. What remains to be seen through, is whether he has done enough to see his pet project get through.