Mizoram Minister blames Centre for lack of sports policies

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Aizawl, Sep 24: Mizoram Sports and Youth Services Minister Z H Ropuia has blamed the Centre's ''lack of sports policies'' for very few sports achievements in the state.

Speaking to newspersons here yesterday, he strongly refuted the Opposition's allegations that the MNF ministry had no proper policy for sports and youth affairs.

''It is not surprising that the state has not registered much achievement in the sports sector following lack of interest from the Centre,'' he said.

He claimed that the MNF government had sent a number of proposals for the improvement of sports in the state to the Centre but only a few of them had been approved.

The minister alleged that the Centre had never shown any interest in promoting sports at the international level and this attitude had been prevalent since the past 60 years.

Mr Ropuia pointed out that the sports budget had never exceeded even one per cent of the total union budget.

''How the state government can adopt a sports policy when the Centre itself has no policy,'' he said.

He also alleged that there was no minister to look after the Sports and Youth Affairs department at the Centre for nearly two years.

Mr Ropuia said he had pinned high hopes on DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and the proposed Comprehensive Sports Policy.

He, however, expressed disappointment with Mr Aiyar for allegedly not co-coordinating with the state sports department during his recent visit to the state.

''I had received an invitation from the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary, but it was not a formal one for a minister to attend a party meeting. Mr Aiyar also personally invited me, but it was not clear where the meeting would be held,'' he said.

The minister claimed that the state Sports Council under his presidentship had done a lot towards promoting sports in the state adding that proposals had also been sent to the Centre for setting up of sports complexes in all the districts.

Among other plans, the sports minister said an aero-sports centre would be established at the Tuirial airfield in the near future. He also affirmed that a full-fledged sports stadium will be constructed at Assam Rifles Ground after completion of necessary formalities.

Mr Aiyar had also considered the Bawngkawn Brigade Field for its feasibilities and possibilities for constructing an international standard sports stadium during his recent visit, Mr Ropuia said.

UNI

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