Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Ajay Maken on Wednesday asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to immediately remove the tainted Suresh Kalmadi as IOA president or else the government would be forced to take action against him.

Mr. Maken claimed that he had seen the copy of the letter that IOC sent to the IOA and said it was high time the Olympic body must take an action against the tainted official. “I have seen a copy of that letter and it seems IOC is unhappy with the IOA because it has not taken action against Suresh Kalmadi, who was sacked as the chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. So this is something in line with what I as a Sports Minister have been saying. I strongly feel IOA should take action against him or Kalmadi should voluntarily resign,’’ he remarked.

Lashing out at the acting IOA president and senior BJP leader, V.K. Malhotra, he said it was unfortunate that Mr. Malhotra had been supporting Mr. Kalmadi. “IOA should form an ethics committee and take a decision. Mr. Kalmadi was elected as IOA president proposed by Mr. Malhotra and the latter in return got the job of senior vice-president of IOA and now is the acting president. Both have been supporting each other since long time. So the IOA should take action, the ethics committee should be formed and a decision must be taken,’’ he said.

He said Mr. Kalmadi has been charge sheeted in a serious issue of corruption and that too by CBI and had been in jail for a long time. He has no reason to stay as IOA president.

Mr. Maken said though the government doesn't want to interfere with the affairs of the IOA, it may be forced to take action against Mr. Kalmadi. “Since IOC has itself taken up the issue with the IOA, any move by the government would be seen as an intrusion by the IOA. So they again might use the plea why the Indian government is intruding into the affairs of IOA. So as far as we are concerned, we have made it clear that Mr. Kalmadi should be removed but if he is not removed, government may be forced to take action,’’ he remarked.