Shimla: Congress today dared Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) to drag them to court over charges of the sports body being misused for political ends even as the party spokesman today reiterated that HPCA was functioning more as a frontal organization of BJP.
At a conference call congress spokesman, Kuldeep Rathore told reporters that there was an urgent need of laws governing sporting bodies as they had become fiefdoms of a chosen few who had never been associated with the sporting discipline they preside over.
He said that an unholy nexus between HPCA and Indian Premier League (IPL) with the backing of the state government was visible during the recently held two matches at Dharamshala. He asked HPCA to come clean and declare what amount had the body earned from holding the two matches at the new stadium.
â€œWhile undue favour was shown to Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, in providing him services of the state helicopter,â€ said the congress spokesman adding, â€˜the government was forced to convert the largesse bestowed into a paid flight after the congress raised the issue.â€
He said that congress was not against cricket but against blatant commercialization of the sport. BJP is using the sport for political ends as was evident from holding T-20 matches just before the Lok Sabha elections just to promote the campaign of Anurag Thakur, the HPCA president who was the BJP candidate from Hamirpur. We even raised the issue with the election commission, he added.
Responding to a reported threat by HPCA members of dragging congress president Kaul Singh Thakur to court over allegations of misuse of the sporting body for political purposes, Rathore dared them to take up the issue legally. â€œLet them do so at the earliest, for it would provide an opportunity for judicial scrutiny into its functioning,â€ he said.
The congress spokesman said that IPL was purely a commercial venture and the government had bent rules to promote the event and spent unbudgeted Rs 3 crore on it.