Sports minister Ajay Maken pushed the anti-Suresh Kalmadi campaign further on Tuesday, saying he was not in favour of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief returning at the helm while still facing charges of corruption.
Maken, speaking after a function organised by Sarvottam, an NGO, said, “Until Mr Kalmadi is cleared of all charges, he should not be back as the IOA chief.”
Kalmadi, who was recently granted bail by the Delhi high court, has ‘distanced’ himself from the day-to-day affairs of the IOA, but, at the same time, has not stepped down from the post. Recently, he had asked VK Malhotra to continue as the acting president.
“As far as the ministry’s direct involvement with the IOA goes, we don’t want to be too intrusive,” said Maken, adding , “At the same time, we have to keep a close watch.” The minister also opposed tainted officials heading sports bodies. “That defeats the purpose of sporting spirit. The IOA should never be headed by someone tainted...”
On India’s participation in the London Olympics, the minister said the muddle would have no effect on the country taking part in the quadrennial games.