December 5 is the new date for the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) elections. However, the sports ministry has once again written to the International Olympic Commission (IOC) urging it to hold the elections only after clearing the misunderstanding over the government’s sports code by engaging in a dialogue.
This comes on a day when the reconstituted three-member election panel announced the new date for the elections after it met with Justice Anil Dev Singh at the helm. Previous head SY Qureshi had resigned in the wake of pressure from the IOC to not follow the code.
However, returning officer Justice (retd) VK Bali, in his letter, dated November 20 2012, sent to IOA acting president VK Malhotra, reiterated that “the sports code would be followed in conducting the elections.”
The scrutiny is scheduled for Saturday and the withdrawal of names will be from November 25 to 29. Asked if there is a change in the panel’s stand, Justice Bali said: “My orders are in writing. If somebody has any doubt in mind he can go and read it on IOA’s website. I’ve been a chief justice myself and we’re the other two members of the panel, so whatever we do will be according to the law and the procedures we have laid down for the elections.”
When queried if there is a demand from within the IOA to follow IOC’s latest diktats to ignore the sports code, Justice Bali added: “We are doing it for public interest.”
Meanwhile, sports secretary Pradeep K Deb has sought to open a channel for discussion on the code with the IOC. “Government of India has no intention whatsoever to interfere in the functioning of the IOA. All that the sports code seeks to achieve is to ensure that elections of the IOA and other sports bodies are fair, transparent and in consonance with the Olympic Charter,” Deb wrote to IOC president Jacques Rogge.