The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday decided to review the composition of its General Assembly before going ahead with its elections.
Even as it decided to hold the elections on November 25, the IOA Executive Council which met on Monday also decided to form a standing committee to look into the “electoral college” in order to ensure that the stipulation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding Olympic sports disciplines being included in general body was followed.
In simpler terms it is clearly an attempt to buy more time amidst court ruling and government diktats as well as an attempt to enlarge the electoral college, much against convention, just prior to the elections.
The tenure of the present Executive ends on October 10.
The IOA Acting President, V.K. Malhotra, told the media after the EC meeting that a Special General Assembly meeting would be held on October 18 to take up the recommendation of the Standing Committee. Elections can be called with a 30-day notice.
The voting majority in the IOA is even now held by the National Sports Federations. All the summer Olympic sports federations constitute the majority voting members of the IOA.
The attempt now is to see whether separate winter sports federations, instead of the just one Winter Games Federation of India, could be roped in to be part of the IOA voting majority to ostensibly fall in line with the Olympic Charter.
There is also a possibility of sport like modern pentathlon having a federation and even National championships in a short time so that it could also get into the IOA fold.
“Some seven or eight games, including golf and modern pentathlon, have applied for affiliation,” Malhotra said.
“The IOC had asked us to announce the date of the elections and decide on the returning officer. We have done both,” said Malhotra.
He said a retired High Court or a Supreme Court judge would be appointed as the returning officer.
He said the IOA did not have any differences with the IOC. He clarified that the Suresh Kalmadi issue had been solved long ago since he had clarified that he would not be asserting his rights as the IOA president.