Thankful to Kalmadi for declining IOA's life president's post: Narindra Batra

| Updated: Dec 29, 2016 02:51 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 28 (ANI): Newly-elected International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Dr. Narinder Batra on Wednesday welcomed Suresh Kalmadi's decision to decline the post of Indian Olympic Association's (IAO) life president and asked Abhay Chautala to do the same and withdraw from the post. "I am thankful to Kalmadi for not accepting the post of life president which was conferred on him yesterday by the IOA. I would also request Mr. Chautala to not accept and withdraw. Till such time he gets cleared from the charges against him. It is in the interest of sports and will enhance his respect and dignity," Batra told ANI. "The president can only be the one who provides distinguish service in Olympic movement. It is not important that if someone was president in past, the position will be offered to him. I don't know what was discussed and how this decision was taken by IOA. The order was passed within few minutes; I don't think any discussion took place in this matter. These are important things and should be considered carefully," he added. Kalmadi, who has been appointed as the life president of the (IOA) along with Chautala, voluntarily decided to step down from the post, confirmed his counsel Hitesh Jain. "Voluntarily he is stepping down and will not hold the post till his name is not cleared by court," Jain told ANI. Kalmadi has been facing corruption charges for misappropriation of funds during the hosting of 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry has decided to issue a showcause notice to the IOA and has said that all ties will be cut with the national Olympic body until Kalmadi and Chautala aren't removed. Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Sports (Independent Charge), yesterday said that the move was totally unacceptable as both were facing serious corruption and criminal charges. "We are shocked at the resolution passed by the IOA to make Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents. This is totally unaccepted to us as both are facing serious corruption and criminal charges against them. In fact the IOA was suspended by IOC when Abhay Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were elected as office bearers of IOA. The suspension was lifted only when both were removed from the management," he insisted. "We have sought the details and on receipt of complete report, we shall review the situation and take appropriate steps. Our government is committed for good governance in sports," he added. As per sources, the decision to appoint Chautala and Kalmadi as life presidents was unanimous. A resolution was moved by Joint Secretary Rakesh Gupta and a total of 150 people, who were a part of the meeting in Chennai, agreed to it. Kalmadi served as the IOA president from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption scandal but later released on bail. Meanwhile, Chautala was earlier this month certified as the chief of the Haryana Olympic Association (HOA) by the IOA. Chautala served as the president of the IOA from December 2012 to February 2014 when the IOA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for fielding charge-sheeted candidates at the elections. His election as IOA chief was annulled by the IOC. Only after the IOA Constitution was amended to ensure that charge-framed candidates are not allowed to contest elections, the IOC revoked the suspension on IOA in February 2014. (ANI)