The Indian Olympic Association on Thursday lashed out at the Sports Ministry for writing to the IOC regarding the sports code's implementation in the upcoming IOA elections, saying that the government's action was an assault on the autonomy of sports bodies in the country.
In a missive to IOC president Jacques Rogge, IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the letter written by sports secretary to the world body was "a bizarre testimony of the half truths and distorted facts by the very senior official of the government of India".
"IOC had made it clear in the letters to IOA that NOC internal operations, decision making mechanisms, election arrangements etc all come under exclusive responsibility and competence of the NOC and must not be subject to any external pressure or interference," Malhotra wrote in the letter.
"The number of terms of the office-bearers and (ii) a potential age limit for the members of NOC or NSF shall not be decided or imposed by law or external body's decision but shall be decided by respective organisations," Malhotra said.
He said he was "surprised at the audacity of the Sports Ministry to misrepresent the IOA at the highest international forum".
"To start with, the very fact that Mr Dev has directly written to you and the IOC bypassing the Indian Olympic Association, shows the government's intentions, interests and interference in the affairs of the IOA," he said.
Yesterday, the Ministry wrote to Rogge, seeking a meeting with the IOC representatives to be held in India and said that the upcoming elections to the IOA should be postponed to a future date.
Malhotra said the IOA has no issues with such a meeting provided the government's sports code is kept in abeyance.
"As for as Mr Deb's suggestion of a meeting between the IOA, IOC and government of India's officials, I have no objection provided Sports Ministry puts the sports code in abeyance," Malhotra said.