NEW DELHI: Indian Olympic Association‘s (IOA) infighting between groups led by IOA chief Narinder Batra and its secretary general Rajeev Mehta has reached the doorsteps of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the decision-making body running the Olympic movement worldwide.
IOA’s vice president and the ruling BJP party’s senior leader and spokesperson, Sudhanshu Mittal, has petitioned the IOC president Thomas Bach and its executive board, terming as “illegal” the appointment of Batra as the president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). He has also alleged that the 63-year-old administrator submitted false declaration to the IOA in his bid to contest for its presidency, to which he got elected in December 2017.
Mittal, who is aligned with Mehta, IOA’s finance committee chairman Anil Khanna and treasurer Anandeshwar Panday, has alleged in his mail to the IOC that when Batra was elected as the president of the FIH (in November 2016), he was also holding the post of the president of Hockey India (HI), which, according to Mittal, wasn’t permissible according to the statute of the FIH. Batra was elected as the HI’s chief in October 2014.
Mittal alleged: “In December 2017, the elections of the IOA were due. Shockingly, Batra was nominated as a candidate for the IOA president’s post and he accepted the same. Batra was a representative on behalf of the HI in IOA’s elections and voted as a representative on behalf of the HI. Since he had already resigned from any office bearer’s post with the HI in order to comply with the FIH statute, there is no possible way that he could be in the executive committee of the HI, unless Batra had given false declaration to the FIH and to everyone else that he had resigned from the HI,” read Mittal’s mail.