New Delhi: Indian sports minister MS Gill was forced to go into a rethink mode over the latest ‘tenure-row’ after Indian Olympic Association president`s open allegation, that the ugly controversy could have been avoided ahead of Delhi Commonwealth Games.
"We don`t want to go on the offensive. Gill could have waited for the Games to get over. We have also told PM that all sports federations will work hard to make the Commonwealth Games a huge success.”
"Randhir (Singh) has given the International Olympic Committee (IOC) letter to the PM and he assured us he will look into the matter and will get back to us," Kalmadi added.
Kalmadi made the charge after calling on Manmohan Singh at his office at Parliament House.
The IOA and the national sports federations are at loggerheads with the sports ministry after the latter issued an order limiting the tenure of the presidents of sports bodies and made retirement mandatory at age 70.
"We have met the PM and briefed him about the issues that threaten the autonomy of the IOA and sports federations," Kalmadi told reporters in the parliament complex.
"We told him we did not like the timing of this order, that too when the Commonwealth Games are near and when the Coordination Commission is in the city to monitor the progress of the Games. This controversy could have been easily avoided," Kalmadi said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had pledged to look into a sports ministry order that reportedly threatens the autonomy of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and various sports bodies, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said Wednesday.
Kalmadi was accompanied by other senior sports bosses like Praful Patel (football), V.K. Malhotra (archery), Digvijay Singh (shooting), Randhir Singh (IOA secretary general) and Lalit Bhanot (athletics).
Kalmadi said Sports Minister M.S. Gill could have waited for the Commonwealth Games to end in October.
The IOC`s National Olympic Committee (NOC) relations director Pere Miro, in a letter to Randhir Singh, hinted that the apex body of international sports will not hesitate to impose sanctions on its Indian affiliate if there is too much government interference in their functioning which, as per the Olympic charter, needed to be run autonomously.
With Inputs from IANS