Vijay Kumar Malhotra,81,has been plodding on in a tiny room office albeit reluctantly while carrying out the duties of IOAs acting-chief. Hassled by its day-to-day responsibilities and haggard from having to carry on despite the restrictive powers,Malhotra tells Vinayak Padmadeo that he cant wait for the fracas to be resolved so he can return his focus to his political responsibilities.
On his duties since asked by IOC to become acting chief
I get all the correspondence from International Olympic Council (IOC),the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA),Association of National Olympic Committees (ANC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) as one of only two recognised people. I have to keep everybody in the loop,including the National Sports Federations as my signature is required when we send our teams abroad. Right now,we have been dealing with the CGF for the upcoming Queens Baton Relay that they want us to hold either on October 12 or 13.
On how tough it is to function as few in the IOA see him as their representative
It has been very difficult. Privately,many of them tell me that I will have to play an important part to help end our suspension,but the same lot when together suggest they can do it on their own. The thing is,I have to keep everybody in the loop and I can tell you it has been very difficult for me as sometimes I am required to advise them,but it is not taken seriously. Also,rules are such that even when my signatures are recognised by all I cant access the bank accounts of the IOA.
On continuing as acting-chief since last year
I thought my job will get over once the election was done last year. But this suspension and all the complication that came along with it has ensured that Ive had to stay on. Now,with all the correspondence that I need to do,my political work is getting affected. Also,my staff have to do additional work for nothing. Itna paperwork hai ki ek room aaram se fill kar sakte hai. Then we get letters from parties like Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) saying why have you given affiliation to Hockey India and not us? I dont see what I could do in such matters.
On why he isnt attending meetings with IOA,IOC and Sports Ministry
This is a complicated issue. The suspension came because IOC said there was government intervention. The letter also warned that whoever will deal with the officials of the suspended body will face disqualification. Now IOC is talking to them as well. So it is a difficult situation but I didnt go because I didnt call the meeting as per the convention.
On clean vs charge-sheeted administrators (charge-framed,as mentioned in the latest IOC communication)
I am all for clean administrators with no criminal records. But having said that IOC and others have to properly define the term tainted. Because for example I have spent 19 months in jail during Emergency,now does that mean I am tainted? I dont think so. For example,in the Delhi rape victim issue,protesters were arrested under IPC sec 144,should they be termed tainted as well for reacting publicly to that tragic incident?
On role of sports ministry
Government of India is indulging in double-speak. At one end they have approached the Supreme Court to get the favourable direction after they held that persons in lawful custody whether convicted in a criminal case or otherwise cannot contest elections. But on the other hand,the sports ministry have been pressing for the chargesheet clause.