Indian Golf Union faces a split after stormy meeting
On paper, the Indian Golf Union (IGU) has met the demands of the Sports Ministry for getting back recognition, but the manner in which changes have been carried out has caused concern.other sports Updated: Jun 14, 2018 13:03 IST
The acrimony at the Extra General Meeting (EGM) on June 6 threatens to split the Indian Golf Union (IGU).
On paper, IGU has met the demands of the Sports Ministry for getting back recognition i.e. falling in line with the National Sports Code by amending its rules and Wg Cdr (retd) Satish Aparajit, who was to hand over charge last October, stepping down as president.
But the manner in which changes were carried out and several stakeholders prevented from voting has caused concern. The aggrieved will go to court to get the “EGM declared null and void” and “explore the need to form a rival body”.
Ever since the draft constitution was circulated in the IGU Council, the decision-making body, reservations were expressed by members. De-recognised since April and the Asian Games just two months away, IGU is in a hurry to get back the Ministry’s approval and the benefits that come with it.
But in its haste, it is alleged the rulebook was kept aside. A letter by Harish K Shetty, president-elect of the Karnataka Golf Association, to the IGU Secretariat and 40-plus premier clubs that were not allowed to vote at the EGM, lists the anomalies.
According to IGU, the clubs were denied voting rights as they were defaulters of annual subscription under Rule 8 of IGU. Shetty’s letter states: “…a bill has to be raised by IGU demanding annual subscription. It has failed in its duties and is penalising the clubs.” Incidentally, the clubs were informed less than 24 hours before the EGM that they had been barred from voting.
“Instead of sitting there as buffoons without the voice being heard, almost all the non-Army club nominees decided to walk out. Within 10 minutes thereafter, the meeting (EGM) is said to have concluded by passing the amendments unanimously,” writes Shetty.
The letter also claims there were serious discrepancies in the electoral list. “The electoral list should have been made and approved by the Council before the EGM. On the contrary, notices were sent to all member clubs irrespective of their voting rights.”
There are also allegations that ineligible state associations were given voting powers. Shetty points to “Karnataka State Golf Association, formed by the family and friends of a Council member. The presiding officer could not give an explanation for the fraud…. SGAs like Assam and Manipur are not registered bodies… but are given voting rights. Associations of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have not been recognised and denied voting rights. When questioned, the presiding officer could not give a convincing reply.”
Serious mistakes in the draft rules were pointed out as well and “there are new provisions which do not have a rule number”, he says.
When contacted, Shetty said: “This is an outright violation of rules, we aren’t living in a banana republic. While we want to strengthen the organisation (IGU), if pushed we will consider it (breaking away).”