We are not opposing sports bill: Farooq

Union minister Farooq Abdullah (L) said that there is a misconception that we do not want BCCI to be asked questions. Rather we feel that everyone should be equal before RTI AFP

New Delhi: Sep 2, 2011

Union minister Farooq Abdullah, who heads Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, on Friday said there is no opposition to bringing sports bodies including BCCI under RTI but consultations should be held before any such bill is brought.

“There is a misconception that we do not want BCCI to be asked questions. Rather we feel that everyone should be equal before RTI. It is wrong to say we are opposed to it. Who said we are opposing it? None of us said in that manner. All of us support it. We have only requested for redrafting the bill,” Abdullah told reporters outside Parliament.

He was reacting to questions with regard to opposition by several ministers including him to the National Sports Development Bill as a result of which it failed to get through the cabinet on Tuesday.

“We have not thrown it (the bill) into the dustbin. At no stage, we said that the bill should not come. We have only asked for consultations with everybody and redrafting the bill so that the bill could be passed in Parliament when it comes and help promote Sports… It s not that we are going to bulldoze something,” the Union minister said.

He, however, stuck to his reservations against the age limit prescribed in the bill for being members of Sports bodies.

“I can walk, play Golf and sit in the ministry notwithstanding my age. If I can do all this, then why should I bother about my age. What is the fuss if I am in seventies,” 74-year-old Abdullah said.

Asked whether he felt it was wrong on the part of sports minister Ajay Maken to talk about what transpired at the cabinet meeting, Abdullah said, “It is completely wrong. We are sworn to secrecy. Only those things will go out of a cabinet meeting, which have been decided or otherwise what the minister of information and broadcasting briefs.”

“We did not engage in any fight there (at the cabinet meeting) as you showed. We only said that bring the bill properly after redrafting it,” he added.

To questions on a few people occupying key posts in sports bodies for decades, Abdullah said it actually helps.

“If somebody has reached a position, many doors open for him. He can do many things, which a person with no approach, cannot do,” he said.

Abdullah said those occupying any posts are after all appointed by sports bodies. (PTI)