Left with no other choice but to fall in line after International Olympic Committee (IOC) served an ultimatum to bar charge-framed persons from contesting elections or face de-recognition, Indian Olympic Association on Saturday called its general body meeting (GBM) on December 8.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Saturday issued a notification, calling for a GBM on December 8, even as its acting chief V.K. Malhotra wrote a letter to the world body to postpone the deadline of amending the constitution by a month in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in five States.
S. Reghunathan, who has been chairing the past two special GBMs of the suspended IOA, told PTI that a notification has been issued on Saturday, calling a meeting on December 8 following the IOC’s ultimatum on November 15.
“We have issued the notification for a Special GBM to be held here on December 8. It is a requisition meeting,” he said.
The last Special GBM meeting on October 27, which was also a requisition meeting, was adjourned sine die so that it can be reconvened in a short notice.
Reghunathan said in case the IOC accepts Malhotra’s request to postpone the deadline for amendment of constitution to bar charge-framed persons by a month, then the Special GBM will be held later.
“Malhotra has written a letter to the IOC president to postpone the deadline to January in view of the elections in the five States. If the IOC accepts that then the GBM will not be held on December 8,” he said.
The IOC had served the ultimatum that in case the IOA does not amend the constitution to bar charge-framed persons from contesting elections by December 10, it may recommend India’s de-recognition to its Executive Board which meets on December 10 and 11.
In his letter to the IOC president Thomas Bach, Malhotra said since several IOA members are either contesting in the State elections or directly involved in campaigning, they may not be able to attend the GBM if it is held before December 10.
“I want to assure you that IOA will address all the concerns mentioned in the communication (sent on November 15 by the IOC) and will sort out the matter to the satisfaction of the IOC. The IOA is not averse of amending the constitution but it cannot be done by December 10 as desired by the IOC,” Malhotra said in the letter.
“The reason being that election process for the five State Assemblies including that of Delhi is on. Most of the members of the IOA at the moment are very busy with these elections.
“Given the massive scale of preparations for the elections in India and seeking votes from millions of voters is itself an extraordinary feat. Several members of the IOA are either contesting these elections or directly involved in the campaigning and they can hardly spare time for the meeting,” he said in the letter.
Interestingly, Malhotra said that the ‘Code of Conduct’ enforced by the Election Commission may not permit such a meeting of the IOA.
“The ‘Code of Conduct’ has been enforced by the Election Commission of India which also restrains holding of such meetings which may be construed as giving advantage to a particular political group who may come up with some populist measure at the expense of other groups who may not be part of this movement in this country. The whole election process will be over by the second week of December 2013,” Malhotra said in the letter.
“In these circumstances, the IOA request the IOC to give it a time till January 2014 to decide and come up with the desired amendments. The IOA assures the IOC that it will convene an extraordinary general body meeting by the second of third week of January 2014 and to amend the constitution to the satisfaction of all.
“We hope the IOC will understand that IOA position and allow it to hold the required meeting in January 2014.”