Shimla: Chief minister Virbhadra Singh today strongly defended the sports bill recently passed by Himachal Pradesh assembly and asserted that it aimed at regulating the sports bodies.
The Himachal Pradesh Sports (Registration, Recognition and Regulation of Associations) Bill, 2015 had been passed with an objective to democratise the functioning of the sports associations and to make them accountable for performance in games and sports, the CM said.
Addressing a public meeting at Bassa in Nachan in Mandi district, he accused the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur of forgery and grabbing government land for construction of five star hotel and a stadium at Dharamsala.
Virbhadra Singh said that the HPCA which got itself re-registered as Himalayan Players Cricket Association in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh flouted all legal norms and later again got itself registered under the company Act somewhere else.
The association which was meant for the budding players and boost sports activities was converted into company for benefit of the few, he alleged, adding that the Cricket body could not be given recognition unless it was registered with Registrar, co-operative society in the State.
"I am not against sports but I want that the office bearers of all the sports bodies be elected in democratic manner and all members should have equal voting rights," he added.
Speaking about the ongoing work on four-laning of Dadour-Mandi highway, Chief Minister said that the National Highway Authority of India should have ensured the maintenance of the road till the work on four-laning was completed.
The government had sanctioned a sum of Rs 18 crore for construction and maintenance of NH-21 and the remaining 50 per cent expenditure would be borne by the Centre.
He said that education was the backbone of development and to make it accessible to all, his government had opened 700 schools during past two years, raising the total number of schools to 15,428.
"We have reached a stage of saturation as far as opening of schools was concerned and now the main focus of the government would be towards improvement in quality of education," he added.
Singh said that he had served the State for many years and never discriminated between regions in matter of development and it was the opposition, which played divisive politics after coming to power and tried to create rift between the people in the name of region and religion.
The Chief Minister also layed the foundation stone of drinking water supply scheme at Bassa. It would benefit 28 habitations of eight villages.
Speaking on the occasion Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes said that 32,416 habitations had been provided 70 litre water per person per day and 89.50 per cent of the families in the State had access to tap drinking water facility.
State Youth Congress President Vikramaditya Singh said that the Sports Bill passed in the Vidhan Sabha was for the welfare of the sports bodies and a step ahead to stop monopolisation of sports associations.
He said that there should be democratically elected governing members in sports bodies.