The senior vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Vijay Kumar Malhotra, has “taken over” as the acting president of the apex sports body following the arrest of its president Suresh Kalmadi.

Malhotra said on Tuesday that he chaired a meeting of the “available” office-bearers of the IOA and consulted the rest on phone before being asked to fill in as acting president as provided for in the IOA constitution.

He said the IOA Secretary-General, Randhir Singh, was also contacted.

“In the absence of the president, the senior vice-president can chair a meeting, and in the prolonged absence of the president he can automatically take over the functions of the president,” said Malhotra.

“There cannot be a vacuum in the functioning of the IOA,” he said. He added that he would be convening a meeting within a fortnight.

Not all were in agreement with Malhotra about the new arrangement. Senior IOA officials argued that this could only be an interim arrangement and Kalmadi could be removed only through a no-confidence motion at a special general assembly meeting.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was learnt to be keeping a watch over the developments in the Indian NOC.

The Union Sports Ministry had on Monday asked the IOA to elect a new president following the arrest of Kalmadi. — Special Correspondent

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