Abhay Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has hit back at Sports Minister Vijay Goel for his comments on the appointment of the previous as life president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) alongside Suresh Kalmadi. Both Chautala and Kalmadi are facing charges of corruption.
Chautala said, “Vijay Goelji ki apni koi aur pida hogi jiske wajah se unhone kal is kisam ke bayan diye. Sports ko badhane ke liye Vijay Goel sahab ko kaam karna chahiye,naki isko controvery mei daal kar k bewajah vivad chedhna chahiye. (Vijay Goel must have had a separate issue that would have forced him into making comments on Tuesday. He should focus on promoting sport and not turn this into an unnecessary controversy),” he said to ANI.
“Vijay Goelji’s reaction was shocking; He alleged that there’s criminal case against me. They’re political cases not criminal,” he further claimed in his defence.
On Tuesday, Goel in a press conference had expressed displeasure over the appointment of Commonwealth Games scam accused Kalmadi and former IOA president Chautala as honorary presidents of the national Olympic body.
“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,” he had said.
“In fact the IOA was suspended by IOC when Abhay Chautal and Lalit Bhanot were elected as office bearers of IOA. The suspension was lifted only when both were removed from the management,” he had further added.
The chances of it converting into a full blown controversy are highly likely with the government looking to take action on IOA. “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 said.
If reports are to be believed, the entire IOA body – comprising 150 members – had unanimously voted for them to inducted as life presidents.
Kalmadi served as IOA president from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the 2010 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. He had 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, did the IOC revoke the suspension on IOA in February 2014.