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State associations answer Bengal’s call

As far as the numbers game goes,it was a success. With representatives of 28 of the 41 associations on the dais,Bengal Hockey Association president JB Roy can say he has the majority support.....

As far as the numbers game goes,it was a success. With representatives of 28 of the 41 associations on the dais,Bengal Hockey Association president JB Roy can say he has the majority support as he demands early elections to the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).

But,in a two-day meeting with only one agenda,there were no details given on Wednesday on what the next step would be to convince the Indian Olympic Association and the sports ministry to start the election process. “We want the IOA to hold early elections and hand over the charge of affairs to state associations. After that things can be worked out,” Roy said.

“It’s been almost a year since the ad-hoc committee was formed. They have done a good job,but there is no involvement of the state associations. All decisions are taken by the committee and we have no information on anything happening to hockey,” he added. The members have planned to hand over a memorandum to the IOA and sports minister MS Gill,outlining their demand.

The state associations are also planning to take legal action,pleading to be made a party to the ongoing case against the IHF during the March 2 hearing.

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Roy added that though the suspension of IHF was sub-judice,there was no problem with holding elections. “The Delhi High Court has already directed the IOA to come out with concrete plans to hold elections. The elections to IHF are,anyway,due in April this year. We can’t understand why the IOA is not coming out with any announcement,” he said.

In all,31 members had been expected to attend,but two of them (JN Tyagi from the UPHA and Rajeev Mehta from Uttaranchal HA) backed out at the last moment,while one member (Gumjum Haider from Arunachal Pradesh) sent a letter of support.

Communication gap

However,the most intriguing case was that of the J&K Hockey Association. While JKHA president Narinder Batra sent out a statement early on Wednesday morning that he did not support the meeting,JKHA secretary Jagjit Singh was present and pledged his support to JB Roy.

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“I have no idea why Mr. Batra has made that statement. Till one day ago,he was constantly in touch with me and promised complete support for this meeting,” Roy said,adding that he had support from four more members who did not want to come out publicly at this stage.

First published on: 26-02-2009 at 12:35:45 am
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