New Delhi, Dec 28: Hardening its stand on the appointment of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Life Presidents, the Sports Ministry today cut all ties with the sports body until it reverses the decision.
Kalmadi, who was jailed in connection with the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, and former IOA President Abhay Singh Chautala were made Life Presidents at IOA's Annual General Meeting in Chennai yesterday. Chautala is also facing corruption charges.
"Suresh Kalmadi and Chautala being made IOA's life presidents is against its constitution and unacceptable to the ministry," Sports Minister Vijay said Goel a day after he said the IOA's decision came as a shock for the government.
"We are disappointed with the IOA's decision as both of them have are facing corruption and criminal charges.
"We want transparency, good governance and accountability in IOA as well the other national sports federations.
"IOA is not paying attention all this (ministry's guidelines) and that is why we have decided to send them a show-cause notice.
"Till the time Kalmadi and Chautala are not removed or they resign themselves, we won't deal with IOA on any matter," he said further. Goel insisted that it was not a political decision taken by the ministry.
"This has nothing to do with politics. It concerns two tainted officials. Their elevation as Life Presidents sends out a very wrong message. We respect the Olympic charter.
"We talk about autonomy of sports federations but autonomy only comes after good governance, transparency and accountability. If IOA continues to take decision like these, the government will have to take action," he said.
The minister's statement on Kalmadi and Chautala came after he felicitated the World Cup winning Indian junior hockey team.
The 18-man squad, led by Harjeet Singh was presented a memento and cheque of Rs 3,70,000 for each team member.
Narinder Batra, FIH president, was also present at the felicitation alongside India coach Harendra Singh.
Batra also happens to be one of the eight associate vice-presidents of the IOA. He too strongly opposed IOA's decision of making Kalmadi and Chautala life presidents.
"I don't agree with it at all. Rule 5 of IOA's constitution clearly states that anyone who has been charged/ framed under IPC or under prevention of corruption act, he can't be in IOA. I don't know exactly what charges have been levelled against Kalmadi and Chautala.
"Keeping the interests of Indian sports in mind, they both should not accept the life presidency of IOA until their names are cleared. It sends out negative signals to the global sports fraternity," Batra told PTI.