New Delhi: The Archery Association of India (AAI) today hit out at the Government for de-recognizing the body, calling the decision "unconstitutional and arbitrary".
Questioning the decision, AAI president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said Sports Ministry has no right to de-recognize the Association as "we have not violated any rule or law of the land and the decision is illegal".
He said he was surprised at the Government’s argument that AAI has not adhered to the Sports Code.
"Sports code of the Government of India has no legal sanctity. It is not an Act, it is not part of the constitution and there has not even been a Gazette notification about this so-called code", he claimed.
Malhotra said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been repeatedly emphasizing that it is against the Sports Code and government intervention.
He lashed out at the Sports Ministry for misleading the public by churning out false information. "Sports ministry says that Sports code is a virtual copy of the IOC charter which is factually incorrect"
"Today I received a letter from the IOC in which the world body has recognized me as the Acting President of the IOA. They are fully aware of my age and my tenure as AAI president. If I had violated the IOC charter they would not have written this letter to me", he said.
Malhotra said the Sports Ministry kept on stressing that he had been head of the AAI for 40 years.
"But they conveniently ignore the fact that I have also been in politics for last 60 years, I have been member of Lok Sabha for four times, member of Rajya Sabha once, currently leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, have been member of the then Delhi Metropolitan council several times. Even my opponents appreciate my contributions. They praise me for being getting elected repeatedly," he said.
Malhotra said the AAI elections were held as per the constitution. "Nominations were filled, there was no arbitrary rejection of any paper, proper time was given for canvassing . There were contests for several posts. Elections were held in open before the media".
"I am surprised that Sports Minister held a press conference to announce de-recognition of AAI but did not give the correct picture to the media".
"How can we accept a Sports Code which has no legal sanctity and is not recognized by the IOC", he asked and demanded that Ministry should immediately restore the recognition.
He assured the players that there interests will be protected. "In no way we will let there interest suffer".
Malhotra also informed that Archery’s World Body (FITA) has already conveyed its full support to the AAI. "Our archers will take part in the International Competitions under the tricolor".