Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken has appealed to Team Anna to help him get the National Sports Development Bill tabled in Parliament and passed after the Union Cabinet rejected the bill. His draft bill seeks to make cash-rich sports organizations such as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more transparent and accountable by bringing them under the purview of the Right To Information (RTI) Act and placing an age bar of 70 for heading these bodies.
Maken feels that as a mere Union Minister he does not have the heft or clout to introduce such a radical bill and will need Team Anna’s assistance to succeed in his endeavor. He did try to lobby the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi but was unsuccessful.
“Dr. Singh said he has no opinion and would be guided by colleagues such as Sharad Pawar on this issue. Rahul, on the other hand, went off in a tangent and said all sports bodies should be turned into Constitutional bodies, rather than enacting legislation with incremental scope,” rued the Union Sports Minister.
Maken’s bill, just like the Jan Lokpal Bill, seeks to serve the public interest by regulating sports bodies, but is inimical to the financial interests of influential politicians within the establishment who head many of these bodies. Therefore, not surprisingly, his bill has been opposed by ministers such as ICC President Sharad Pawar, Mumbai Cricket Association Chief Vilasrao Deshmukh and J&K Cricket Association head Farooq Abdullah.
“During the cabinet meeting, a senior Minister told me to stop acting like Anna by trying to introduce such good-goody, public interest-type legislation. That’s when it occurred to me that perhaps the only way my bill can be tabled in Parliament will be if Team Anna agitates for it,” said Maken.
Interestingly, many intellectuals and media journalists who had criticized Team Anna for trying to subvert Parliamentary processes during the Jan Lokpal agitation are prepared to fully support Anna’s methods to get Maken’s bill passed.
“Parliamentary processes are damned. Any bill that seeks to regulate the beast called the BCCI must be passed. I will fully support Anna if he goes on a fast for this,” said NDTV’s Barkha Dutt.
Ajay Maken says that if Team Anna can coerce the Parliament to at least debate the main points in his bill and accept them in principle, he will be a very happy man.
(Reproduced with permission from http://www.theunrealtimes.com/. The UnReal Times is one of the top websites for satire, spoof, parody and humour in India)