Sport bodies not getting Govt aid may be out of RTI: Deshmukh

Mumbai: Stating that the Cabinet-rejected National Sports (Development) Bill had certain "technical" problems, Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday said the new draft might contemplate keeping out sports associations, which do not get Central grants, from the ambit of the RTI Act.

"There are certain technical difficulties in the Sports Bill. On the one side, the government is distancing itself from interfering (in many national issues) but with such a bill, there is possibility of government interference (in the affairs of the National Sports Federations). This aspect would be considered in the new bill," the Congress leader told reporters here on Thursday.

"Organisations which get government grants can come under RTI. As a reason it is being contemplated whether organisations which don`t get such (Central) grants should be brought under the new bill," added Deshmukh, who also is the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

Incidentally, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI), to which the MCA is affiliated, has vociferously opposed any move to bring it under the purview of the RTI Act, saying it is an autonomous body.

Commenting on the 12-day fast of anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill, Deshmukh said, "The issue on which Anna Hazare protested was related to the common man. The Government also took positive steps to which Anna too responded and the protest ended.

"Anna never takes extreme steps nor does he protest for himself," added the former Maharashtra Chief Minister, who played a key role in ending the deadlock between the Centre and Team Hazare.

Asked whether he would consider returning to state politics, he said, "I am happy in Delhi. I worked in Maharashtra for 30 years. I am performing my duties in Delhi now."


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