Hamirpur: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today justified cancellation of lease of lands given to Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and said immediate fresh elections to the body be held in a "free and fair" manner.
Speaking at Sujanpurtira, 20 kilometers from here, the Chief Minister told reporters this morning that only bonafide Himachalis should be made the members and office bearers of the HP state cricket association.
He said that once fresh elections were held, the state government would hand over the control of the stadium to the new body.
In a swift operation in the wee hours, the state government cancelled the lease of lands given to HPCA by previous BJP government and took-over the International Stadium and Hotel Pavilion, Dharamsala.
The HPCA was headed by BJP MP and former chief minster P K Dhumal` son Anurag Thakur.
The chief minister alleged that HPCA had become Dhumal`s family affair and this would not be allowed anymore in the interests of sports in the state.
The Himirpur district administration also took over the control of the Amtar stadium, named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Meanwhile, the BJP lambasted the state government for taking control of the stadiums on HPCA lands. District President of the BJP, Vijay Agnihotri described the step as anti-people and anti-sportspersons.