Prabhu, Jaitley red flag move to deny voting rights to RSPB, SSCB

NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry's diktat, that the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) and Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), be deprived of voting rights since both are government bodies and this would interfere with the 'one state, one vote' credo of the National Sports Development Code of 2011, has not gone down well with either the Services or the Railways. 

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu and defence minister Arun Jaitley have written to Sports Minister Vijay Goel and to the NSFs, protesting the move. Interestingly, even the Lodha committee, entrusted with recommending reforms in the BCCI's functioning, had suggested that the Railways and the Services be denied voting rights as these government organisations' votes would reflect the dispensation of the ruling government.

Not having voting rights amounts to losing a say in the management of the federations, and more crucially, lack of a voice in the selection, training and conduct of national and international events. 

The RSPB has a huge pool of sporting talent - 3000 active sports persons on its rolls, 1,200 of whom are of national and international calibre. The SSCB has around 2,000 national level sports persons in its ranks in the armed forces. The two bodies, formed during the British era, have been the earliest employers of sports persons in the country, and the SSCB is one of the founders of the IOA and the NSFs.

The Sports Ministry is however keen to implement the provision of the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI) 2011, which states that “only one State/Union Territory association from each State/UT shall be admitted as a member of an NSF… Any organisation of an all-India standing and connected with the sport may be given the status of a State or that of an UT and admitted as an affiliated member.

“Other categories of membership may also be given but while each affiliated State/UT shall have a right to cast vote in the General Body meeting, no other class of members shall have any right to vote in the NSFs’ meetings. While granting recognition/affiliation to a state/UT association, the NSF should take into consideration the representative character of the State/UT association so as to ensure that only truly representative body of the game gets recognition/affiliation.

“It has come to the notice that many NSFs have given voting rights to the member such as Sports Promotion Boards, Association of Indian Universities, etc., which is not in accordance with the provision of the NSDCI.”

Goel has since agreed to review the move in light of protests from the two ministries.