IOA rejects ministry guidelines on tenure, age-limitMay 18th, 2010 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Tuesday put up a brave front against the union sports ministry, rejecting its guidelines on tenure of office and age-limit for office-bearers of the national sports federations.
At its special general body meeting, thrown open to the media, the IOA unanimously resolved that neither the IOA nor any of its naional sports federations would amend their constitutions to incorporate the guidelines.
“no steps will be initiated”, the IOA resolution said, to amend the constitutions of the IOA or its sports federations “to incorporate any provisions/part of these guidelines” of teh sports ministry. This would be a serious breach of the Olympic Charter, it added.
While IOA president Suresh Kalmadi laid stress on the autonomy of sports federations, at least one of his senior colleagues, vice-president Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, made bold to tell him to mend his own “arbitrary and dictatorial” ways as head of the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
Dhindsa also warned the Congress leaders and bureaucrats heading the federations that they should not succumb to party and government pressures and accept the guidelines.
“It is not clear whether the government is receptive to our request. So we have to be on our guard,” Dhindsa said.
Dhindsa, a former Union Sports Minister and president of the Cycling Federation, sounded unhappy when he illustrated his own experience as the chairman of the Games Village Committee. He said without his knowledge the mayor and deputy mayor were appointed to the committee and that he did not even know who all are the member as he was seldom called for any meeting.
Kalmadi said it is time to correct some impressions that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has created.
“The Olympic Charter states clearly that only the National Olympic Committee has the right to decide the terms of office for the office-bearers and executive members,” he noted.
“The ministry’s expense on training of India’s elite athletes for international competitions has been shown in grants to national sports federations, causing the impression that the IOA and national sports federations are doing nothing but wasting public money,” Kalmadi said.
“We get a pittance from the ministry,” Kalmadi said.
IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh, who is IOC member in India and Olympic Council of Asia secretary-general, said if the ministry continued to insist on imposing the guidelines on the IOA and NSFs, India could face the embarrassment of being left out in the cold as far as the Olympic movement is concerned.
Tarlochan Singh, MP, pointed out that the ministry has been wrongly stating that parliament had backed the decision to impose the guidelines.
“During a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the working of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on April 22, just two of the 21 members made any mention of tenures of office-bearers of NSFs. To say that parliament was seized of the issue is to paint a false picture,” he said.
IOA senior vice-president Vijay Kumar Malhotra termed the ministry’s decision “draconian” and pointed out the guidelines issued in 1975 were drafted during the days of the Emergency.
At Tuesday’s special general body meeting, the IOA and NSFs unanimously passed the resolution that “they decline to accept the government guidelines issued vide letter of August 2001, including the amendment issued vide letter of May 1, 2010, to protect their autonomy in accordance with IOC Charter and International Federations’ Statutes.”
It also said that “no steps will be initiated by IOA/any NSF to amend their constitutions to incorporate any provisions/part of these guidelines as this will be seriously in breach of the Olympic Charter and render the IOA/NSFs vulnerable to suspension and deprive their teams from international participation.”
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Tags: autonomy, brave front, bureaucrats, charter states, commonwealth games, congress leaders, constitutions, cycling federation, deputy mayor, dhindsa, indian olympic association, ministry guidelines, national olympic committee, national sports, olympic charter, organising committee, sports ministry, union sports, village committee, youth affairs