Willing to go to Lausanne to meet IOC officials: Sports Minister
New Delhi: Desperate to get the suspension on the IOA lifted, Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said he has no qualms in meeting International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials at their headquarter in Lausanne to break the deadlock.
"The IOC is willing to speak to the government and we are happy that very soon, we will be having a dialogue with them. We are also meeting all other stakeholders i.e. the sportspersons across India, and soon come up with a solution," Singh said.
"I am even willing to go to Lausanne if I am needed to go. I will definitely go but first we need to clear few things like are they coming here or are we going there. But I have no problem in going (to Lausanne) to end the impasse," he added.
Just a day before the elections on December 5, the IOC had suspended the IOA for adhering to the government`s Sports Code. The international body has also barred it from discharging any official duties such as holding meetings till the issue is resolved.
But in an act of defiance, the IOA went ahead with the polls though the international body refused to recognise Abhay Singh Chautala, who was elected unopposed as president, and his team of office-bearers.
The IOC also directed the international federations to ensure that National Sports Federations in India function without any interference from the government.
The Sports Ministry has sought a dialogue with the IOC to assuage its concerns.
"We have got a message, a communiqué from IOC and we are meeting the (IOA) members rather than the acting president and the IOC members. We have got a communication and very soon we will be engaging in a dialogue process to end the impasse," Singh told reporters here on the sidelines of a function organised by TERI - YUVA MEET 2013 (Green Growth - Preparing Youth for Sustainable Living).
On the Athletics Federation of India removing a contentious clause from its constitution and calling for re-election to three top posts next month, Singh said the Sports Ministry is yet to receive an official communication from the AFI.
"I still have to get the official communication first, then only I can comment on it. I have not yet received any communication from the AFI and once my Ministry receives it, we will look into the matter," he said.
The AFI took the decision to delete Clause XIV(b)(1) of its constitution, which required candidates for the posts of president and secretary to be an existing member of the Executive Committee, in a Special General Body Meeting here on Sunday.
AFI polls were held in March last year but the Sports Ministry refused to recognise the president and secretary who were elected under the contentious clause.
The Ministry also rejected the election of the treasurer on the ground that the person did not get a No Objection Certificate from his public sector employers.
The Ministry had, on December 11, directed the AFI to amend its constitution and hold re-elections within two months or by February 28 at the latest for the post of president, secretary and treasurer or face de-recognition.
Meanwhile, speaking at TERI`s fifth YUVA Meet, Singh said, "Nature keeps giving us warning signals from time to time. I feel that before it gets too late, and the nature gets harsh on us, we need to spread awareness and address environmental concerns. I am happy that over the years, there has been a steady increase in awareness among youth on environmental issues."
Featuring over 200 young minds from eight countries, the two-day meet aims to sensitise international youth on issues pertaining to green growth and sustainable development.