New Delhi: Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju`s decision to contest the July 31 election of the
Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) has evoked criticism with
former sportspersons crying down the minister`s move.
Members of the `Clean Sports India`, created by former
Indian sportspersons like hockey captain Pargat Singh, suspect
that if Raju contests the poll he may influence the electorate
to become the EFI President.
"We suspect that Mr Raju may try to use his political
influence to get votes of the Army officers working under him
to get elected to the EFI presidentship as majority of the
electorate is from the armed forces," said a statement issued
"We appeal to the Army chief General V K Singh, who is a
rider himself, not to get influenced by his political boss. We
also appeal to Prime Minister and Defence Minister to ensure
that their colleagues do not interfere in the sports bodies
using their political clout," it added.
The Minister has already filed his nomination for the
election to be held here and the CSI, a society claiming to
create awareness about problems in Indian sports, requested
him to reconsider the decision.
"Finally we make an earnest appeal to Mr Raju himself
that he should reconsider his decision to contest election for
the EFI presidentship," the statement said.
Pargat last month had launched a scathing attack on the
Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi, accusing
him of preventing athletes from joining National Sports
Former national players like Arjuna awardee Reeth
Abraham, Bhugeshwar Boruah and Sunita Godara are also members
of the society.