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Narinder Batra quits as IOA vice-president following Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala's appointments

Narinder Batra resigned from his post in view of Suresh Kalmadi and Ajay Chautala's appointment as life presidents of IOA.

Narinder Batra is also the head of the International Federation of Hockey

What’s the story?

The Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) Vice President Narinder Batra has resigned from his post as a mark of protest against the appointments of tainted politicians Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents of the association.

In a press release which was addressed to the President and the General Secretary of the IOA, Batra said that he was disturbed at the recent course of developments and quoted rules from the IOA Statues Rules to slam the decisions, pointing out that the nominations were illegal. 

Also Read: Suresh Kalmadi rejects lifetime IOA presidency

"I am disturbed about a development in IOA AGM in Chennai on 27th December, 2016," Batra was quoted as saying in his statement. "I am told by the members present in the AGM that this particular discussion i.e. nomination of Life President took place as last item in any other item and was proposed and approved in a total of one minute without any discussion and after that the AGM was declared closed and while taking the decisions the statutes of IOA seem to be have been overlooked."

Further, he went on to quote several clauses from the IOA rules and highlighted the fact that it was mandatory for all IOA members to receive pertinent information about the nominations seven days prior to the AGM on December 27, but that had not happened as well. 

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Narinder Batra’s decision however comes a day after Ajay Chautala, the former President of the IOA offered to relinquish his post after receiving a lot of flak from all sections of society including the Sports Ministry and sports minister Vijay Goel. Goel, in fact, issued a showcause notice to IOA on the matter. 

The politician from Haryana had said that he was ready to "sacrifice the position in the best interest of Indian sports, sportsperson, good governance and transparency."

Kalmadi on the other hand, subsequently resigned with his lawyer putting forth the statement that he would not accept any official post until his name was cleared in the cases regarding corruption during the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. 

The heart of the matter

The IOA on Tuesday, during it’s annual general meeting, had named Suresh Kalmadi and Ajay Chautala as it’s life presidents. This, despite the fact that the two are facing several criminal and corruption charges against them, but the IOA disregarded the same and went ahead with the appointment. 

Also Read: 5 reasons why even thinking of appointing Suresh Kalmadi as IOA President shows how important sport is in India

This development was heavily criticised and drew a lot of flak not only from the Sports Minister and experts, but also the general public on all social media platforms, asking the sporting body to roll back their appointments. 

Sportskeeda’s take

The appointment and the subsequent decision of the IOA to not take back the decision, will only hurt the cause of Indian sports in totality. In theory, sports bodies may be independent in their functioning but they need state funding to operate smoothly.

In this scenario, with the Sports Minister himself questioning the elevation of corrupted individuals to the post of life-presidents, the IOA should consider the wider opinion on the issue and immediately revoke the appointments in the greater interest of the dignity of the association. 

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