The Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) acting president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, on Monday led a 12-member delegate to present a memorandum to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention in resolving the dispute arising out of the controversial national 'sports development bill'.
Malhotra, along with members of National Sports Federations, presented the PM a brief outline of their viewpoint on why they have rejected the proposed sports bill that is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session.
According to the delegation, if the draft is introduced in the present form, it might lead to disaffiliation of the IOA by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the ground of government interference.
Words of comfort
After the meeting, which lasted over half an hour, Malhotra said, the PM had given them a patient hearing and his attitude seemed "sympathetic".
"The PM listened to us and said he will seek information from the sports ministry since he does not have much information on the matter," Malhotra told the media.
"The bill is illegal, unconstitutional and draconian," Malhotra added.
"If the bill becomes a law, it will lead to chaos as the ministry will recognise or derecognise sports bodies at will."
The delegation also apprised the PM of the letter written by IOC to IOA, which talks about the autonomy of the national apex sports body, and that any infringement by the governement would lead to suspension.
"Sports is a state subject and government want to take control of it," said Malhotra.