Gill calls for free, fair and transparent elections of Hockey India

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New Delhi, Jan.24 (ANI): Union Minister Youth Affairs and Sports M.S.Gill on Sunday called for free, fair and transparent elections of Hockey India (HI), the apex body to oversee the game, after the postponement of its elections.

Gill expressed his views about various aspects of the game, as he formally inaugurated the renovated and spruced-up Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday (January 24).

"There are some issues in the High Court and I heard about the cases going on in Delhi and Rajasthan High Courts and the Sports Ministry's stance will be very clear before the court that we want to see the benefit of the game in the country and the players. Elections should be free, fair and transparent. We will accept whatever the court decides," Gill told reporters on the sidelines of the opening of Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

He also said that some democratically run state associations were left out of the electoral colleges leading to the current crisis.

"There are some state units like old Bombay, Madras, Punjab, Bengal etc which have been in existence for 70 to 80 years and it's not that they are not run democratically," said Gill.

The Sports Minister further added that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has asked the Ministry to form a unified body for the game of hockey before the World Cup.

"The FIH (International Hockey Federation) told us that we conduct fair elections. I met FIH chief Leandro Negre and he told me that he had two demands, a unified body of men's and women's team and HI elections before the World Cup scheduled to commence on February 28. We also want free, fair and democratic Hockey India," added Gill.

It may be recalled that the elections to the Hockey India (HI) were postponed after certain affiliated state associations objected to the superseding the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).

Further, there arose a sort of revolt over payment by the players of national side that is training for the ensuing World Cup to be staged in New Delhi.

The Hockey India elections, scheduled to be held on February 7, was once again deferred after the High Court in Rajasthan state issued a stay order on the formation of an ad-hoc body for the sport in the state.

The elections, postponed for the fourth time, comes after the Rajasthan Hockey Association moved the High Court on Friday (January 22) citing reasons that the Hockey India ignored the association and instead granted affiliation to an ad-hoc body under its 'one state, one body' policy.

The decision was taken at an urgent meeting of Hockey India members in New Delhi after returning officer G S Mander received the legal advice. (ANI)

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