Government to ask IOA to elect new president

New Delhi: The government is likely to push
for a new president to head the Indian Olympic Association
following the arrest of incumbent Suresh Kalmadi today in
connection with the Commonwealth Games scam.

The former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee
chairman was arrested by the CBI today for allegedly awarding
a contract for the Games to a Swiss company at an inflated
rate of Rs 141 crore in a "pre-meditated" manner.

"What we have decided here in the Sports Ministry is that
as soon as the official arrest of Suresh Kalmadi is announced
by the CBI, we are going to write to the IOA that they should
elect a new president," Sports Minister Ajay Maken told
reporters here.

"The person who is in jail or who has been
charge-sheeted, it would not be in the national interest that
he should represent the country anymore. As soon as official
confirmation of his arrest comes, we are going to request the
IOA to elect someone," Maken said.

Maken also said his ministry will seek the advice of the
Attorney General (AG) in this regard.

"We would also be writing to the Attorney General seeking
his legal advice. The government can also take action on its
own if the IOA fails to take any action against him. If
required, we will take action on our own.”

"We will first write to the IOA to remove him, elect a
president and simultaneously we would also write to the AG to
give us some advice on the matter," the sports minister said.

Kalmadi was quizzed this morning by the investigating
agency before his arrest for irregularities in the QBR and
also for those in the contract awarded to a Swiss time keeping

His close aides -- former OC secretary general Lalit
Bhanot and former director general V K Verma -- were arrested
in February.

"Last week, we formally received the report from the
Shunglu committee from the cabinet secretariat and based on
that we referred the matter to the CBI again to take action
against those found guilty by the Shunglu committee.
Hopefully, CBI takes action against all those people who have
been let off," Maken said.

Maken said he had never entered into any kind of
communication with Kalmadi officially or unofficially ever
since he has taken over as Sports minister. "I have never
spoken to him."


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