Defiant Kalmadi says he will not step down as IOA President

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Ranchi, Jan 24 (PTI) A defiant Suresh Kalmadi todayrefused to comment on his removal as Chairman of theCommonwealth Games Organising Committee but made it clear thathe will not step down from his other post of Indian OlympicAssociation President.

Kalmadi, who was here in connection with the upcomingNational Games, said the ongoing investigations into allegedirregularities in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games didnot have any bearing on his role as IOA President.

"It has nothing to do with the Indian OlympicAssociation. The IOA General Body meeting will be held inRanchi on February 12", he told reporters here, a couple ofhours after the government sacked him as the OC Chairman.

Kalmadi refused to give a direct reply to the suddendevelopment. "Earlier also I had said that I am ready for anenquiry and it is going on. I can''t say much", he said.

Along with Kalmadi, his close aide Lalit Bhanot was alsoremoved as Secretary General of the OC with immediate effect,almost three months after the sporting extravaganza was heldin Delhi amid a spate of unsavoury controversies.

The decision to remove the two top officials was taken bythe new Sports Minister Ajay Maken after taking legal opinionfrom the the Attorney General.

Maken, who took charge of the Ministry barely five daysago, said that both Kalmadi and Bhanot have been removedin light of the ongoing investigation by the Central Bureau ofInvestigation (CBI) over allegations of corruption andirregularities in organisation and conduct of CommonwealthGames.

"In the light of the concerns expressed by the CBI and inthe interest of impartial and unhindered investigations, ithas been decided to remove Kalmadi from the position of theChairman of the Organizing Committee and the position ofChairman, Executive Board of the organizing, CWG, withimmediate effect", Maken said.

Kalmadi has been directed to handover charge to JarnailSingh, Chief Executive Officer of the Organizing Committee,who is also a Member of the OC''s Executive Board, he added.

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