Kochi: Sports Minister E. P. Jayarajan has said that the LDF government will amend the Kerala Sports Act to do away with the nomination of presidents and vice-presidents to district and state sports councils that was introduced by the UDF government. “The UDF government dissolved all district councils and nominated their political candidates to the posts, which is unacceptable and we’ll definitely bring changes in that,” said Mr. Jayarajan.
The UDF government had revamped the Act last May by changing the democratic system of election to the sports council. Explaining his government's stand, Mr. Jayarajan, who is under fire for allegedly mistreating Kerala State Sports Council president Anju Bobby George, said that there was no intention to remove the dissenting Olympian from her post.
“It is not on the agenda of the government to change the existing members of the council. We’ve not thought about changing anyone, including Anju Bobby George,” said Mr Jayarajan. “But there’ll be problems if the council is entrusted with sportspersons alone,” he added.
Mr Jayarajan said he could not understand why former president Padmini Thomas was not allowed to continue and how Anju Bobby George came into consideration. Meanwhile, Ms Padmini Thomas and Mr T.P. Dasan, who is also a former council president, welcomed the Vigilance probe suggested by the incumbent president into the functioning of the council during the last 10 years.
Replying to the remarks made by Ms Anju on the neglected Munnar high-altitude centre, Ms Thomas said, “during our time we requested funds for the centre several times, but sufficient funds weren't allocated.” Mr Dasan, who held office for five years during the LDF regime under Mr V.S. Achuthanandan, refuted Ms Anju’s allegations on the Sports Lottery project. “There was a profit of Rs 10 crore, which was given to the council and we spent that on infrastructure development and buying equipment,” said Mr. Dasan.
The former mayor of Kozhikode, who is rumoured to be the frontrunner for the council president’s job should the Olympian be removed, said that the rumour was baseless but added that "if the government asks me to step in, I'll see it then."...