Sports Minister to ask IOA to elect new president

New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Monday said the Indian Olympic Association would be asked to elect a new president in case incumbent Suresh Kalmadi is arrested by the CBI and threatened intervention by the Ministry if the IOA fails to act.

The former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman, Kalmadi, is likely to be arrested by the CBI today in relation to irregularities in the conduct of the event last year and in the Queen`s Baton Relay (QBR) held in London in 2009.

"What we have decided here in the Sports Ministry is that as soon as the official arrest of Suresh Kalmadi is announced by the CBI, we are going to write to the IOA that they should elect a new president.

"The person who is in jail or who has been charge-sheeted, it would not be in the national interest that he should represent the country anymore. As soon as official confirmation of his arrest comes, we are going to request the IOA to elect someone," Maken said.

Maken also said his ministry will seek the advice of the Attorney General (AG) in this regard.

"We would also be writing to the Attorney General seeking his legal advice. The government can also take action on its own if the IOA fails to take any action against him. If required, we will take action on our own.

"We first write to the IOA to remove him, elect a president and simultaneously we would also write to the AG to give us some advice on the matter," the sports minister said.

The CBI is expected to arrest him later today and come out with a statement.

Kalmadi was quizzed this morning by the investigating agency for irregularities in the QBR and also for those in the contract awarded to a Swiss time keeping company.

His close aides — former OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot and former director general V K Verma — were arrested in February.

"Last week, we formally received the report from the Shunglu committee from the cabinet secretariat and based on that we referred the matter to the CBI again to take action against those found guilty by the Shunglu committee.

Hopefully, CBI takes action against all those people who have been let off," Maken said.

Maken said he had never entered into any kind of communication with Kalmadi officially or unofficially ever since he has taken over as Sports minister.

"I have never spoken to him."