Will ask IOA to select new president: Sports minister


New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken said Monday that he would direct the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to select a new president to replace the tainted Suresh Kalmadi, former chairman of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, at the earliest.

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“Things are moving to their logical conclusion. As soon as Kalmadi is arrested we will ask the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to select a new president as someone like Mr. Kalmadi, who will be chargesheeted and will be arrested, cannot continue leaading the IOA. We will ask the IOA secretary general to host the elections soon,” said Maken.

His comments came on a day there was intense speculation that Kalmadi had been arrested for the alleged irregularities in the preparations for the October 2010 Commonwealth Games here. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is probing the issue, did not confirm this till late Monday afternoon.

“It is upto the IOA to take a step for the best the interest of the country. The IOA president reperesents the country and some body who is chargesheeted cannot serve the purpose. I am hopeful that sports ministry’s steps will also be backed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC),” he said

Maken also said that the sports minstry will also consult the attorney general to see if it can take any action its own.

“We will also take advice from our attorney general to see if we can take action on our own to conduct fresh elections in the IOA,” he said.

Kalmadi was Monday again questioned by the CBI on the alleged irregularities relating to contracts awarded in connection with the Commonwealth Games. After thrice skipping questioning, Kalmadi appeared at the CBI headquarters here in the morning.

Kalmadi was summoned to the CBI headquarters April 15 but had to go out of station on that day, an official told IANS. He was then called Tuesday, April 19, but could not make it. Yet again, he failed to appear before the CBI for questioning April 20, saying he was unwell.

Kalmadi’s lawyer Hitesh Jain said he was at the CBI headquarters to reply to questions related to TSR (timing scoring and result) equipment scam.

Kalmadi was earlier questioned in connection with alleged irregularities in hiring AM Films and AM Car and Van Hire Limited during the Queen’s Baton Relay in 2009.

The Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi Oct 3-14 last year.