Commercial interests openly selling cricket : Sharad

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) Janata Dal (United) Chief Sharad Yadav today charged the government with the inability to control ''commercial interests'' who were openly ''selling cricket'' and ignoring genuine news content in the media.

Interrupting the speech of Mr Janardhan Dwivedi on Motion of Thanks on President's Address in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Yadav regretted the ''fall in standards'' in the media pointing out that it went overboard on the birthday celebrations of an actor but forgot even to mention a word about the birthday of Late Jai Prakash Narain.

To bring home his point, Mr Yadav said there were many members present in the House who had a ''good stature''. ''However, the establishment chooses not to control such indiscretions by the media while winking at commercial interests 'shamelessly selling cricket','' he said in an apparent reference to the bidding of cricketers by moneybags.

Mr Yadav's comments drew applause by the members and the attempts by an 'embarrassed' BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla to draw the attention of the Chair proved futile.

Resuming his speech, Mr Dwivedi however conceded with Mr Sharad Yadav that the goodness and virtues were bypassed but rejected his later part of the statement because it was ''politically motivated''.

UNI MCN YA KP1743

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