Miffed with the Sports Ministry’s new regulations limiting their tenures, IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi and National Sports Federations’ officials Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and sought his intervention in the matter.
Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi, Secretary General Randhir Singh and several other NSF chiefs including Archery Association of India chief V.K. Malhotra met the Prime Minister at his Parliament office.
The delegation also gave the Prime Minister the letter which the International Olympic Committee has sent them saying that the tenure and age-limit of the office bearers cannot be decided or imposed by the government.
After the meeting, Kalmadi said the Prime Minister has promised to look into the matter. Kalmadi warned that sports activities will suffer in the country if the guidelines are implemented.
“The PM told us that he will look into the matter and get back to us. If you fiddle with the autonomy, you get into trouble. If IOC imposes sanctions it can bring to a standstill all sports activity in the country,” Kalmadi told reporters.
Kalmadi yet again lashed out at Sports Minister M.S. Gill for the timing of the move.
“Dr Gill should have come up with this idea after the Games. The timing (of the sports ministry’s move) was not good,” he said.
The new regulation bars NSF presidents, which includes Suresh Kalmadi, from occupying the top posts for more than 12 years, with or without break, while secretaries and treasurers can serve eight years at a stretch and can seek a re-election only after a four-year gap.
Apart from Kalmadi, the regulation seeks to end the more than a decade-old reign of Malhotra, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (cycling), VK Verma (badminton), Captain Satish K Sharma (aero club), B S Adityan (volleyball) and Jagdish Tytler (judo).
On being asked if they will continue in their posts, Malhotra said there will be no change in any regime till the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for October 3-14.
“The status quo remains till the Commonwealth Games,” Malhotra said.
The Sports Ministry has already stated that the move will not affect Games in any way and and there was no threat to any of the office bearer, serving the current term.
The guidelines would be followed when the fresh elections will be held, the ministry had said.