Shimla, Apr 6 UNI | 4 months ago

Asserting that the Congress government has put up a proposal to hold IPL-7 matches between May 10 to 14 and thereafter from May 17 after the general elections had ended, State Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri today said it is wrong to say that Himachal Pradesh is reluctant to host IPL matches at Dharmasala as being blamed by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).

In a statement here this evening, Mr Agnihotri said that the HPCA was blaming the State Government for its failure to host IPL on pretext of insufficient security in the State.

He said that 'it was wrong to say that on the alleged security reasons the State Government was unwilling to host the IPL game. A letter was sent to Kangra Superintendent of Police to explore the possibilities regarding security arrangements for hosting the cricket game and the issue was very much in consideration of the Government the minister said.

Rather it was 'lacklustre' approach of Mr Anurag Thakur who was contesting the Lok Sabha election himself from Hamirpur on BJP ticket and is also Joint Secretary of BCCI and President of HPCA, Mr Agnihotri said and added that on one hand the state Government was serious to host IPL matches and on the other Mr Anurag Thakur misguided the BCCI that Himachal Government was not able to provide the required security.

He said the State Government had given the proposal of hosting the matches between May 10 and 14 and thereby after May 17 due to the General Elections on May 7 and counting of Votes on May 16.

The Minister said the exact dates could not be committed due to the very reason but that does not mean that the State Government was playing politics of sorts.

'The Government is committed to promote the Game of cricket in big way and rather systematically. The HPCA first of all razed the residential quarters meant for teaching faculty to illegally occupy the land for construction of the pavilion and secondly none of the renowned cricketers of the State was made even a member of the governing council of the cricket body of the state.'

The last phase of the Lok Sabha elections was to end on May 12 and the HP Police forces would be back by that time, was conveyed to the HPCA, the minister said and they should plan the matches accordingly but instead they were blaming for their failure on the State Government which was totally wrong.

It was also incorrect to claim by HPCA that maximum matches were being hosted by neighbouring state, as there were only two matches of kings eleven being played at PCA Stadium in Mohali.

The minister said that though the Jawans of Himachal Pradesh Police have also been deployed in Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and other States as well, but still the government was considering the proposal on above dates and had told HPCA body about it.

Refuting the baseless allegation of HPCA, Mr Agnihotri alleged that it was the 'lacklustre' approach of the HPCA and of its president who himself is contesting the election and not interested in sparing his time for the same.

(Posted on 07-04-2014)