New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association vice-President Jagdish Tytler on Monday lambasted the infighting that has marred the build-up to the December 5 IOA elections, saying that constant bickering has made the body a laughing stock for the entire country.
"...Today the whole election process is sadly in a mess which is created by us only. The persons who have been the driving force behind sports of the country have suddenly started accusing each other," Tytler said in a statement.
"As a result whole country is laughing at us because nobody can figure out who is fighting against whom and for what purpose? Introspection needs to be done," he added.
Tytler, who has decided against competing in the elections, said the polls cannot be conducted under government guidelines, which put a cap on the age and tenure of office-bearers.
"Some of us in the IOA, who were well versed with the Olympic Charter and IOA`s constitution, knew from the very beginning that this election cannot be fought on Government`s guidelines, even then no effort was made by responsible persons to put the things in order," he said.
"It gives immense pain to me that knowledgeable people who are well versed with the IOA Constitution and Olympic Charter suddenly becoming either victim of or part of unconstitutional rumours putting our relationship with IOC in question and in shame.
"When we should have enthusiastically prepared ourselves for the next elected body, we have started questioning what is right and what is wrong just at the deciding moment. There has been so much disgruntled apathy against each other that it looks like we have forgotten the people who have made us what we are today in the sports organisation," Tytler added.
The rival factions of Randhir Singh and Abhay Singh Chautala were engaged in a bitter war of words before the former decided to pull out from the race for the President`s post.
"Blaming each other is not the solution. I know nobody wants that our country gets barred by IOC. And everybody knows that if election is held against the IOC Charter then India will be barred," he said.
Tytler added the infighting could also invite the wrath of International Olympic Committee, which has already issued a suspension threat.
"If we continue with what we are doing presently this might compel the IOC to take the ultimate decision which will make our country a laughing stock, IOA members will be treated like a bunch of selfish people. Above all, please give a few minutes to visualise the condition of players if we get barred," he reasoned.