New Delhi: Outrightly rejecting the proposed National Sports Development Bill, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Wednesday said some associations and federations sided with the Sports Ministry following the "arm-twisting" and "bullying" by the Government.

In its Executive Committee meeting here, the IOA unanimously decided to reject the sports bill.

"All the members were present today and it was unanimously decided that we reject the proposed sports bill," V K Malhotra, Officiating President of the IOA, said.

"This draconian bill is illegal, unconstitutional and against the IOC charter. Some state association and federations have given its undertaking to accept the bill only under pressure. They are being bullied and arm-twisted by the government.

Malhotra said the IOA welcomes good governance and transparency but rejects this bill as it will give 100 per cent control of the game at every level in the hands of the government.

"Sports is a state subject. It is in the state list of the constitution. The bill aims to take away the power of the state government and centralise it in the hands of Union Government. This attempt is not only dubious but bad in law and a harbinger of damaging the federal structure of our polity," said Malhotra, who is also president of the Archery Association of India.

"Sport associations need government support for Visa, to send teams outside, conduct camps, sponsorship and many other things and it is only under this pressure that they have
agreed to it," he added.

IOC reply awaited

IOA secretary general Randhir Singh said they are waiting for a written response from the  International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the proposed bill, which they would forward to the government.

"We have sent the proposed draft to the IOC and we are waiting for a written reply from them. Once we receive that, we will forward that to the government. Hopefully we will also
meet the Prime Minister and the Sport Minister regarding this soon," he said.

 "Though IOA is an autonomous body recognised by IOC, the provisions in the bill are all contrary to this spirit. Also some provisions have scope for misuse and mischief.

Meanwhile, Singh, who is also the secretary general of the Olympic Council of Asia, expressed that IOA is keen to host the 2012 South Asian Federation (SAF) games and said they would discuss the matter with the government.

"By rotation, India is supposed to host the SAF Games next year and IOA is ready to host the games. We already have the infrastructure and by spending around 60-70 crore India
should be able to host the Games.

Sports Ministry to go with Bill

Meanwhile, Sports Ministry sources said they remain unperturbed and would go ahead with the bill as per schedule.

"The Ministry will go ahead with the bill. It is all about bringing transparancy in the system and making people accountable. For good governance in the sports bodies, this bill is important," the source said.

Besides Malhotra, the meeting was also attented by Jagdish Tytler, A K Mattoo, K P Singh Deo among others.

The Sports Ministry had proposed the sports bill in the last week of February to fix age and tenure for sports federations officials.

No reason to impeach Kalmadi

Meanwhile, V K Malhotra said there is still no reason to impeach jailed President Suresh Kalmadi, who is facing trial on charges of corruption.

In its first executive committee meeting after the arrest of Kalmadi last month by the CBI, Malhotra said the IOA would follow the constitution in taking any step against the former
Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman.

Asked if IOA is standing by Kalmadi at this crucial phase, Malhotra said, "It's not the question of standing by Kalmadi or not ... Law will take its course. IOA has nothing
to do with it. Constitution is there to take the decision and we will go by the Constitution."

"Some members today mentioned about him, without taking his name, that it is a sad reflection on the sports body.

(Agencies)