New Delhi: Miffed at a new Madhya Pradesh government directive, which asked the state Olympic body to get its recognition, the Indian Olympic Association has shot off a strongly-worded letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to withdraw the rule immediately or else face ban of athletes from taking part in events like the National Games.
IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in the letter to the Chief Minister that the said "draconian" rule would amount to infringement in the autonomy of the sports organisations and state Olympic Association of Madhya Pradesh.
"Digvijay Singh (M P Olympic Association Secretary) has informed that an Act (Sports Association Recognition Rules 2012 of M P Government) has already come into existence in Madhya Pradesh which makes it mandatory for all state level sports associations to seek affiliation from government, failing which they would not be allowed to avail any facility or grant/scholarship awards to the players etc. From the M P Government," Mehta said in the letter.
"The IOA has been voicing at every platform in support of the autonomy of sports organisations. The Olympic Charter clearly underlined that sports organisations should be free from any pressure all over the world," he added.
Mehta wrote that "the mandatory requirement (of sports bodies of a state) of seeking affiliation from the state government will make them subservient to the government and will ruin their autonomy.
"By not adhering to the Olympic Charter, state Olympic Associations and National Sports Federation run the risk of disaffiliation by the IOA.
"The state government must not impose its perspective. In such an event, the M P state Olympic unit and other sports associations will not be able to enjoy the right of participation in national events," he added.
"We request you to kindly immediately repeal this anti-sports rule of 2012. We hope you will understand the serious repercussions of these rules and revoke the same at the earliest," he added.
Digvijay said that several clauses of the 2012 Rules were
violative of the autonomy of the state Olympic Association as the state government sought to impose its authority on the association.
"The 2012 Rules have so many provisions which interfered in the autonomous functioning of sports bodies in the state and M P Olympic Association like making it mandatory to give 15-day prior intimation regarding any meeting/discussion or election, that all the state sports bodies shall have 50 per cent district units as a condition to grant recognition without understanding the fact that there is no infrastructure of various sports at the district level," he told PTI.
"The rules also sought to restrict tenure of the office bearers of the state sports bodies. The latest directive made the Director Sports of the state government the full authority to grant recognition to sports bodies. In fact, in the entire rules framed in 2012, the status of M P Olympic Association has not been recognised," he added.
He said Bihar government had recently repealed similar rules after the IOA passed a resolution against them in its General Body Meeting in Chennai in December 2014.