Batra alleges IOA chief offered him money, Ramachandran rebuts claim

Batra alleges IOA chief offered him money, Ramachandran rebuts claim

The infighting within the IOA took a sensational turn today with Narinder Batra alleging that N Ramachandran camp offered him a huge sum of money in return for his support during the elections last year, a claim strongly rebutted by the incumbent IOA President.

Hockey India President, Batra circulated an e-mail in which he claimed that Ramachandran, through a representative, offered him Rs 1 crore every year till he remains president if he supports his candidature during the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections in February last year. He asked Ramachandran to forward the complaint to the IOA Ethics Commission for action.

"Mr Ramachandran, you in January/February 2014 during the IOA elections in which you stood for the post of President IOA and got elected unopposed, had sent a gentleman to meet me in my office with a proposal that you will give Rs 1 crore every year till you remain president and I should support your presidential candidature. The man was politely asked by me to leave," Batra said in the mail addressed to Ramachandran. The e-mail was also released to the media.

"I ask you that this complaint of mine be forwarded to the Ethics Commission of IOA (which you have made defunct and inoperative under your presidentship) and if it is not done then I will approach the IOC Ethics Commission and the appropriate Court's in India for proper justice and needful. I will produce the witness and evidence before the Ethics Commission," said Batra, who is spearheading a campaign to oust Ramachandran through a no confidence motion.

Ramachandran, on his part, strongly rebutted Batra's claim and threatened to sue him if "anything defamatory is contained in the mail".

"Mr Narinder Batra sends a lot of mail and I have not read this mail in question. I don't want to comment now without reading the mail. If there is anything defamatory, my lawyers will deal with it and take appropriate action," Ramachandran told PTI when contacted for his reaction.

Ramachandran was elected unopposed as IOA President in the elections held in February last year, which led to India's return to the fold of International Olympic Committee after a 14-month suspension. India was banned by the IOC in December 2012 for electing corruption tainted persons as top officials.

Batra said he has the witness and evidence of the alleged Rs 1 crore offer made to him on Ramachandran's behalf.

"I brought this issue to the notice of IOA senior people but at that time I was told to not raise the issue ... in interest of IOA getting IOC recognition. Further, if I raise the issue then, evidence would be asked for and what if the person who came to me backs out on the statement. At that time keeping in mind that IOA would get back its recognition and... the evidence issue, I decided to take a backseat.

"Now Sir, I have witness and evidence of this offer of Rs 1 crore made on your behalf to me. I do not want IOA to become another FIFA," Batra said.

He also asked Ramachandran to step aside immediately and make IOA Life President V K Malhotra as acting chief until the IOA selects or elects a new president.

Batra has been gathering support from the National Sports Federations and state Olympic Associations to oust Ramachandran though a No Confidence Motion by calling a Special General Meeting of the IOA.

He has claimed that more than 50 per cent of NSFs (19 out of 36) and state Olympic units (18 out of 35) have supported his initiative to convene a SGM of the IOA to move a No Confidence Motion against Ramachandran.

According to IOA constitution, a No Confidence Motion against the president, secretary general, treasurer and other executive council members can be passed if two-third majority of members are present and voting. The quorum for such a meeting will have to be three-fourths of the total strength of the IOA General Body entitled to vote.

The IOA General Body has 183 votes in total -- three each for NSFs and two each for state Olympic bodies.

A SGM may be convened at any time by IOA president or the Executive Council or on a written requisition signed by presidents and secretaries of not less than 50 per cent member units within one month from the date of receipt by the president of the said requisition.

If the president of IOA fails to convene a meeting, then the requisitionists can convene the meeting under arrangements made directly by them.

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