Move to expel IOA chief Ramachandran softens

Move to expel IOA chief Ramachandran softens

The infighting within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) seems to have subsided after attempts were being made by its president N Ramachandran’s faction to end the move to oust him.

'Unhappy' with Ramachandran’s functioning, several National Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations were coming together to call a special general body meeting to pass the non-confidence motion against him. The move was initiated by Hockey India president and IOA associate vice-president Narinder Batra.

Batra claimed to have the support of 17 National Sports Federations and 18 State Olympic Associations and insisted that the number will only increase in the coming days. However, in a recent development, Abhay Singh Chautala, the former IOA chief , who had to give up his position after IOC refused to recognise the election and suspended the IOA in 2012, hosted an informal meeting on May 28 with top IOA members to end this crusade against Ramachandran.

An IOA official said Lalit Bhanot was also present in the meeting. "Both Chautala and Bhanot have put their weights behind Ramachandran," an IOA source told Deccan Herald “Several senior IOA members were present in the meeting where the proposal was made to drop this infighting and to resolve it within the IOA. It was felt it will be wrong to pursue it and that it all happened due to miscommunication. Chautala and Bhanot told them that Ramachandran is new in the office and that if the members have any points to make against him, they could do so in a meeting. But removing him would only make matters worse. So more or else, we feel this episode is over now,” he added.

However, Batra said he would continue his “issue-based” fight against Ramachandran. He also said insisted he has the backing of Bhanot. “ I have been in touch with Mr Bhanot and I know that he is with me in this. I have not been in touch with Mr Chautala and if he wants to support Mr Ramachandran, then so be it. The news that we have ended our move to bring a no-confidence motion against him is wrong. We are very much on track. I have nothing against anybody, including Mr Ramachandran, my fight is on issues and we are not stopping here,” Batra told Deccan Herald.

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