Anil Khanna takes dig at IOC after resigning as IOA acting president
The IOA is going through a reformation currently. In a shocking turn of events, Anil Khanna decided to pen his resignation as the IOA acting president. Also, he took an indirect dig at IOC.
On Wednesday, senior sports administrator Anil Khanna resigned as the acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), almost a couple of weeks after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to give recognition to any "acting/interim president". On September 8, the IOC warned that the IOA must hold elections by December or face suspension. Khanna had taken charge of the IOA after a court ruling terminated Narinder Batra's command as the apex sports body's chief. Senior IOA vice president Khanna said he "respects" the IOC view. Yet, at the same time, he asked the IOC who would have the absolute control to "decide and interpret the 'Law of the Land' and the NOC (National Olympic Committee) Constitution.
"Based on the Constitution of IOA, as unanimously approved by the General House and backed by a similar past precedent in the vacancy of the post of President in 2011, I took over the responsibility of the duties and functions of the President for a brief period," read Khanna's statement.
Khanna referred to then-senior VP VK Malhotra, who took charge as the acting IOA president after incumbent head Suresh Kalmadi was arrested on charges of corruption relating to the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG). "The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi confirmed this on June 24 2022," Khanna said in the letter.
"I am honoured to have been part of the IOA sports fraternity for the last many years, having served in different capacities. I was privileged to be part of the Commonwealth Games as Acting President, where India did remarkably well." In a September 8 letter, the IOC said that it would not recognise any "acting/interim president" after Batra's exit as IOA chief. It also said it would deal with secretary general Rajeev Mehta as the main point of contact.
"While I respect the views of the IOC, at some stage, when the dust has settled, I would like to ask the IOC who will decide and interpret the 'Law of the Land' and the Constitution of the NOCs in a Nation. Will this interpretation be made by the IOC, or will the same be done by the Hon'ble Courts of a Nation? Once the Hon'ble Courts of a Nation have decided after due consideration, will it be appropriate for the IOC to have a different interpretation than the findings of the Hon'ble Courts!!" he demanded in his statement.
Khanna, former All India Tennis Association (AITA) boss, revealed that the IOA is going through a challenging phase. "It is no secret that IOA has been going through a turbulent time over the last two years and with the elections approaching within a couple of months and also because of the Hon'ble High Court's order, which may affect the future of some of the affiliated members, the concerns of many in our family have heightened, resulting in continuous litigation even over the last couple of weeks," he wrote.
"Different factions of IOA are obviously taking contrary positions on constitutional matters, including the interpretation of the Constitution and the position of the Interim/Acting President. IOC has also stated in their letter that they do not recognise any Interim/Acting President of IOA," added Khanna.
Khanna said that the government has been making earnest efforts to formalise the IOA operations, and the Supreme Court is sensitive to the views of the IOC to protect the Indian sportspersons' interests. "I have already stated in my earlier letter of September 18, 2022, that the entire IOA family has to join hands and cooperate with the government and take steps under the guidance of the IOC and the Hon'ble Courts to hold free and fair elections, following principles of good governance, as per timelines to be decided mutually," he reckoned.
"To bring greater harmony within the entire membership of IOA, and to achieve the above objective, I have decided to step down from the responsibilities and duties of the President bestowed upon me by the Constitution of IOA and the Hon'ble High Court," Khanna concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)