By : Mohan Verma
Clearing the air over reports that the state government was not responding to requests of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) for providing security to host the India-West Indies One day International at Dharamshala on October 17, Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma on Monday said that it would extend all possible help to HPCA.
Informing this to media, the Minister said the Kangra District Administration has been directed to hold a meeting in this regard.
He said “the government under the leadership of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was fully committed for the promotion of sports in the state.”
Mr. Sharma also said it was unfortunate that the HPCA President and BJP Lok Sabha MP Mr. Anurag Thakur was unnecessarily trying to politicize the entire issue and added that Mr. Virbhadra Singh had already made it clear that the state government would extend all help for organizing the ODI but the HPCA President was continuing to issue baseless political statements on the matter.
The Minister further said Chief Minister had always kept public interest and public good above politics and was promoting sports in a big way in the state.
He said Mr. Singh is himself a keen sports lover and enthusiast and was always for the promotion of sports and asked the HPCA to approach the government in a decent manner for whatever assistance they needed to organize the cricket matches in the state rather than accusing it of not responding to their requests.
The government was very positive towards promoting and popularizing the game of cricket in the state, he said and added the government had no interest whatsoever of taking control of the Dharamshala cricket stadium, as alleged by Mr. Thakur. It’s (government) only interest was to see that the stadium was used for the bonafide purpose of promoting the game of cricket for which the land was allotted, rather than
to convert it into a commercial activity, the Minister said.
Earlier Mr. Thakur alleged that the government was not responding to the cricket body’s requests for providing security for the ODI.
The BJP MP also said that the HPCA has to notify the BCCI about the arrangements within a week, failing which the match might be shifted to another venue.