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Will not interfere: Minister

Calcutta: Sports minister Madan Mitra stepped on to the pitch on Monday to bat for the government, a day after his senior colleague Subrata Mukherjee’s questions had stirred the Cricket Association of Bengal’s annual general meeting.

Mukherjee, on Sunday, had questioned Jagmohan Dalmiya announcing himself as the president for another term at the onset of the AGM. Mukherjee felt that in a parliamentary democracy, the name of the president has to be proposed and then backed by its members.

As the issue made headlines, Mitra paid a short visit to the CAB on Monday evening and had a chat with joint secretary Subir Ganguly and treasurer Biswarup Dey.

Later, speaking to The Telegraph, Mitra said: “It was just a courtesy visit… But I would like to make the point that the state government will never interfere in the matters of the CAB. I’m neither contradicting nor supporting what my colleague said at the AGM yesterday. It’s not my job… But as the sports minister, I have always co-operated with the CAB and will do so in the future.

“The day I had taken the oath as a minister, the chief minister had instructed me clearly that she doesn’t want the government interfering into the matters of sports associations, which had been the case in the past. So I know my job.”

Making his stance clear, he further said: “It’s a democratic country and so anyone can express his or her views. I will not comment on that. But I admire CAB’s contribution to the game and will always provide them with whatever assistance they need… I made that point over a cup of tea today.”

On behalf of the CAB, Dey said: “Too much is being said about the AGM… We respect everyone’s views. The sports minister reiterated today what he had said earlier too, the government will not interfere in CAB’s affairs. He has always helped us… There are no issues.”