Bhopal: Dismiss newly elected MP Olympic body, demands former Olympian

Bhopal: Several sportspersons feel that politicians who do not have any sports background holding key positions in sports bodies are bad for the games.

Despite a similar observation by the Supreme Court about eight years ago, the practice is still continuing.

On Sunday, BJP MLA Ramesh Mendola was unanimously elected as president of Madhya Pradesh Olympic Association for the fourth consecutive time while state BJP president VD Sharma was elected as president of Bhopal District Olympic Association.

At the AGM held in a hotel at Jabalpur, senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayavargiya and senior advocate Prashant Singh were appointed as patrons of the 29-member body of the association.

In 2013, Supreme Court had passed a strong stricture over the state of affairs in the sports bodies.

Hearing a petition filed by Indian Hockey Federation, the Supreme Court had observed that politicians and businessmen were causing harm to sports bodies by heading it.

The apex court also observed that people who were the administrators of the game had nothing to do with sports and they ran the sports bodies at the cost of the game.

Reacting to politicians holding key posts in sports bodies, Syed Jalaluddin Rizvi, a former hockey player (Olympian), said most of the sporting bodies in our country were headed by politicians and ex-bureaucrats, who had been holding positions as committee members for long time. Most of them had no knowledge about the sports in general.

He said the sports bodies have become fertile grounds to make money. The new body of Olympics committee needs to be dismissed as most of the members do not even belong to any sports club.

Deepak Joshi, a BJP leader and former minister said, “The list of politicians on the top positions of sports bodies is long. Politicians do have a way with handling administration but they need to have assistance from the experienced players.”

He said the High Court earlier had given a ruling not to elect same member for more than two consecutive years, but nobody seems to follow the regulation. Electing politicians most in Olympics committee was wrong and this should be stopped, he added.

Amit Tomar, the treasurer of Gwalior Hockey Association, said sportspersons in India are at the mercy of politicians and businessmen who are running the sports bodies for long time.

Earlier, the politicians were only patrons of the Olympics association, and now they are in the working committee.

Allegation baseless: Mendola

Ramesh Mendola, a BJP MLA from Indore and the newly elected president of Madhya Pradesh Olympics association said it was a baseless allegation as all the politicians who have been elected belong to one or other sporting body. Had there been any misappropriation, the observer sent from the Centre would have raised concerns, he said. Being in politics should not hinder their right to be a part of a sports body, the BJP MLA said.

Mendola said, cases against the elected members are still in court. None of them has been convicted so far. “People file cases against politicians due to rivalry,” he added.

The federation now aims to reach out to the remote areas to filter talented and deserving players. MP has come a long way from the 29th position to the 6th position under their regime, he claimed.

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