IOA begins stock-taking exercise post Kalmadi arrest

New Delhi: A day after the arrest of its influential president Suresh Kalmadi, IOA officials have started informal stock-taking exercise to decide the future course of action though no date has yet been finalised for a meeting.

Secretary General Randhir Singh, who is out of station, is expected to return to Delhi tonight and will hold talks with his senior colleagues to take stock of the situation arising out of Kalmadi`s arrest.

Kalmadi, former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman, was yesterday arrested by CBI for allegedly awarding a contract for the mega event to a Swiss company at an inflated rate of Rs 141 crore in a "pre-meditated" manner.

Many of the officials were present at the court today where Kalmadi was remanded in CBI custody for eight days.

"Some informal discussions have started on how to go about without Kalmadi. But the issue will come up for discussion after the secretary general returns to Delhi," a top IOA official said.

The IOA`s Executive Board is scheduled to meet here on May 1 to discuss the sports ministry`s National Sports Draft Bill and that forum could be used to discuss the future course of action.

The IOA administrators are to meet the sports ministry officials to discuss the Bill on May 2 as per the date by the ministry.

"Since we are scheduled to meet on May 1 though for some other purpose, it is very much possible that we will discuss Kalmadi`s arrest and future course of action," the source said.

When contacted, Secretary General Randhir Singh said that he will be reaching Delhi later in the day. "I will be reaching soon and will take of the situation. No meeting has been called yet," Randhir told PTI.

Senior vice president V K Malhotra had an informal meeting with some of the other high-ranked officials during the day to discuss the post-arrest developments and the Sports Ministry`s request to appoint a new president.

The sports ministry had yesterday asked the IOA to appoint a new president since a person who has been chargesheeted or jailed should not head any organisation.

The ministry had also said that it will take legal opinion on whether to take action on its own in case the IOA refuses to adhere to its directive.

The IOA has been left in a disarray with the arrest of Kalmadi who had considerable clout within the organisation.

With his two trusted aides Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma also in jail in connection with the CWG scam, the leadership vacuum is felt even more.

As per the IOA constitution, a person can be removed from his post with a two-third majority in the General Body.

In the absence of its president, senior vice-president Vijay Kumar Malhotra could chair IOA meetings which can be convened by the secretary general.

Malhotra is the seniormost official in the IOA and could be handed the responsibility as a stop-gap arrangement.

As per the IOA structure, there is only one senior vice president while there are as many as 12 vice presidents which include politicians like J S Gehlot, Abhay Singh Chautala, Jagdish Tytler, Bhubneshwar Kalita and Tarlochan Singh among others.

Randhir Singh is the only general secretary and N Ramachandran the treasurer while there are six joint secretaries, including Bhanot. The executive committee comprises 19 members.

The idea of having a huge representation is to ensure that all the national federations are represented in the highest decision making body.