New Delhi: The internecine war in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) ahead of elections to the apex sports body flared up again with the Abhay Singh Chautala faction writing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief accusing IOC member Randhir Singh of flouting the Olympic Charter.
In separate letters more or less on similar lines to IOC president Jacques Rogge, IOA vice-president Tarlochan Singh and Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) president Ajay Singh Chautala charged Randhir Singh with violating the Olympic Charter by approaching the sports ministry to seek its blessings to contest the election - thus, by inference, accepting the government's sports code.
Earlier Monday, IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra appointed Anil Dev Singh, retired chief justice of the Rajasthan High Court, as the head of its three-member election commission.
Singh's appointment was made following the resignation of S.Y. Quraishi Saturday. The other members of the commission are Justice (retd.) V.K. Bali, who is also the returning officer, and Justice (retd.) J.D. Kapur.
The election is to take place Nov 25, but it now appears it may be postponed by four-five days so that the new chief of the panel could decide fresh dates for the scrutiny of nominations and withdrawal.
Tarlochan Singh and Ajay Chautala, brother of Abhay who is opposing Randhir in the IOA presidential race, have in their letters to Rogge said: "The IOC member in India Mr Randhir Singh is violating your instructions and IOC Charter approaching Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India on 14th November 2012 to seek clarification on his own candidature as per the National Sports Code.
"Since he had a fear that being the General Secretary of IOA for five consecutive terms, he may be declared ineligible for the post of President. This act of Mr. Randhir Singh clearly states that he believes and supports the National Sports Code formulated by the Government of India. Secondly, he filed his nomination for the post of President IOA knowing well that elections are being held as per the IOA Constitution and National Sports Code, wherever it is applicable in case of elections."
They want the IOC chief to now consider Randhir Singh's act as a violation of "your instructions as well as the Olympic Charter".
Meanwhile, the IOA has received another letter from the IOC asking the IOA to conduct the election exclusively under its constitution currently in force and the rules of the Olympic Charter.
In his reply, Malhotra said: "While IOC is insisting that its charter and IOA constitution are paramount, the Government of India has formulated a Sports Code and it wants that IOA and National Sports Federations (NSF) should follow that code."
"The Sports Ministry of the Government of India has threatened that in case of the non-compliance of the Sports Code, it will withdraw its recognition to the concerned NSFs and even the IOA. The High Court of Delhi has directed the IOA that it should follow the Sports Code while conducting the elections. Defying the orders will lead to contempt of court."
Malhotra's reply added: "IOA finds itself in a quandary. It has no power to defy the High Court. It has to go by the law of the land. On the other hand, there is insistence from the IOC to adhere to its charter and existing IOA constitution."
The scrutiny of the nominations for the elections was postponed Friday after Quraishi quit saying that IOA had failed to follow the government guidelines.
Abhay Chautala and Randhir Singh are contesting for the president's post while Lalit Bhanot has filed nomination papers for the job of secretary general.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 20 November 2012 12:23 IST