Outcry over Raju contesting EFI elections | other | Hindustan Times
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Outcry over Raju contesting EFI elections

Clean Sports India (CSI), a body recently formed to work towards representation of sportspersons in sports administration, is vehemently opposing the candidature of Minister of State for Defence, Pallam Raju, for the post of the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) president.

other Updated: Jul 15, 2010 00:43 IST
HT Correspondent

Clean Sports India (CSI), a body recently formed to work towards representation of sportspersons in sports administration, is vehemently opposing the candidature of Minister of State for Defence, Pallam Raju, for the post of the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) president.

A release issued by former international rider and national convenor of CSI, BVP Rao, said the organisation “is shocked to learn that Raju is contesting for the post of EFI president. We’ve learnt that he has filed his nominations for the July 31 elections”.

“At a time when the nation is aghast at the mismanagement of sports bodies, headed by politicians and other non-sportspersons, Raju’s entry in the EFI will be another takeover of a sports body by the political class,” he said.

“We are astonished that the minister has time to manage a sport that he has never played. It happens when a seasoned sports politician like Sharad Pawar is trying to leave one of his ministries to spend more time with the ICC (International Cricket Council). It appears sports bodies have become more attractive than ministerial positions,” said Rao.

“We suspect Raju may try to use political influence to get votes of army officers working under him to get elected, as a majority of the EFI electorate is from the armed forces. We appeal to the Army Chief, General VK Singh, who is a rider himself, not to get influenced by his political boss.

“We also appeal to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister to ensure that their colleagues do not interfere in sports bodies using their political clout. We make an earnest appeal to Raju that he should reconsider his decision.”