IOA vice-president claims chief Batra won poll on false affidavits
Batra was elected FIH president in 2016, IOA president in 2017 and an IOC member last year.Updated: Jun 08, 2020 00:01 IST
The wrangling within the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) escalated at the weekend with vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal writing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) alleging that IOA president Narinder Batra was elected to the top posts of the international hockey federation (FIH) and IOA on the basis of false affidavits.
Batra was elected FIH president in 2016 and IOA president in 2017. He was elected an IOC member last year.
Mittal’s letter to the IOC executive board on Saturday, released to the media on Sunday, said, “when Batra was nominated as well as elected as the president of the FIH he was also holding the post of president of Hockey India. This is not permissible according to the statute of the FIH.” Article 7.2 of the FIH rules cited in the letter says the president shall within 30 days of election retire from (and during his term not accept) any executive office or post in the national or continental bodies.
Batra, elected to FIH in November, stepped down as HI president in December 2016. Mittal said “Batra was a representative on behalf of Hockey India in the December 2017 elections of the IOA and voted as a representative on behalf of Hockey India.”
“Since he had already resigned from any office-bearer’s post with Hockey India in order to comply with the FIH statute, there is no possible way that he could be in the executive committee of Hockey India, unless Mr. Narinder Batra has given false declarations and information to the FIH and to everyone else that he has resigned from Hockey India,” Mittal said in his letter, seeking action against Batra.
He cited article 10.3 of IOA constitution, which says those nominated by its unit like HI must be its executive committee member.
Batra and Mittal are both in home quarantine due to Covid-19. Batra said he will reply to the allegations once he can visit his office. He said a similar complaint was filed by tennis federation president Praveen Mahajan to IOA election commission during its poll. “My reply along with other documents was given to secretary general IOA by the election commission for IOA records,” he said.
IOA is already in ferment due to differences between Batra and secretary-general Rajeev Mehta, who termed the IOA president dissolving its ethics commission, on May 19, as “illegal”. That came after Batra had said he would take over most of IOA’s functioning and Mehta responded by saying the handling of day-to-day affairs was his responsibility.