Abhay Chautala blames Randhir Singh for IOA election mess
Abhay Singh Chautala, the lone presidential candidate of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), said Friday that he was hopeful of an early solution to the problem confronting the Dec 5 scheduled IOA election and accused secretary general Randhir Singh of misleading International Olympic Committee ((IOC) on the polls.
Randhir Singh had misled the IOC for his own interests, Chautala said.
"It was because of this attitude all sorts of confusion has arisen. Otherwise, things were going on smoothly," he said.
The election process was as per Randhir Singh's notification. According to Chautala, Randhir wanted early elections to the National Olymic Committee (NOC).
"Since he was completing his four-year term, he wanted the polls to be held at the earliest. But the Annual General Meeting (AGM) wanted it in December. Subsequently he only issued the notification regarding the elections," he said.
Chautala also questioned Randhir's integrity.
"His pullout drama citing violation of IOC charter was an afterthought because he knew he was losing the elections. That is why he sought the help of IOC and forced them to write various letters, including the threat of derecognising/disaffiliating IOA," said Chautala.
After meeting union sports minister Jitendra Singh earlier Friday, along with eight other members, Chautala said the discussion they had with the minister, was fruitful.
"We appraised the minister of all matters concerning the elections and he gave us a patient hearing. We also requested him to find a solution to the raging debate over International Olympic Committee's (IOC) periodical letters. He assured us that after discussing the matter he will revert back to us," said Chautala.
Chautala added that the minister was concerned with the development of sport in the country and assured that he will do everything possible to uplift sport and sort out the issue quickly.
Chautala said that the acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra has written to IOC explaining the situation prevailing at this juncture. It has been also learnt that the IOA has nominated two members to interact with IOC on the issue.
While seeking the immediate resignation of Randhir Singh after he ceased to be the secretary-general of NOC, Chautala said that he cannot represent the NOC as per the IOC charter.
When asked how and why he justified Lalit Bhanot's nomination and election for the post of secretary-general, Chautala said that Bhanot was well within his rights to contest elections and he is not guilty.
"I am hopeful things would be sorted out soon. In any case, it is a matter for the government to clarify its position and that IOA had nothing to do with it."