New Delhi: Faced with the threat from the International Olympic Committee to take action if its directives are not followed, the Indian Olympic Association on Monday announced the date of its elections and said it wanted "perfect relations" with the parent body.

IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra told reporters here after its Executive Board Meeting that the elections to the apex sports body will be held on November 25 and a General Body Meeting has been called on October 18 to announce the poll process.

"The IOC had asked us to furnish information on two issues, one, the date of elections and the other to ensure voting right majority of National Sports Federations whose disciplines are in included in Olympic Games in the electoral college of the IOA," Malhotra told a press conference.

"The Executive Board today unanimously decided to hold the elections on November 25. And for the second issue raised by the IOC, we have decided to form a standing committee to ensure that the NSFs whose sports are in Olympic Games have majority voting rights in the electoral college," he said.

"The GBM of the IOA will meet on October 18 to decide on the second issue (raised by IOC) and for the election process (to start). We will also appoint a retired judge of a High Court or Supreme Court as returning officer so that the elections are held in a transparent way under the IOA constitution and IOC rules and guidelines," he added.

The IOC, in its latest letter, had sought clarification on the composition of the IOA General Assembly on the principle of voting majority for NSFs affiliated to the IFs governing sports on the programme of Olympic Games, besides also asking for date of elections and warned to take action if these directives are not followed.

The IOC had also told the IOA that the elections would be monitored by an observer, but asked on this, Malhotra said that the issue was not included in the information sought by the world body.

"The IOC had sought information on two issues only -- election date and voting right majority of the NSFs whose sports are in Olympic programme. The observer issue was not among those on which the IOC had directed to respond," he said.

"We have already written to the IOC why we were being singled out for sending election observer. These observers are not sent to other countries," he said.

When reminded that the IOC had decided to send the observer as the IOA had not cleared its stand on the status of Suresh Kalmadi who was first jailed but later released on bail on Commonwealth Games corruption scandal, Malhotra said, "We have written to IOC on this issue (on Kalmadi). We have made our stand clear.

"Kalmadi himself has said that he would not be involved in the day-to-day affair of the IOA in foreseeable future. I don't know why this Kalmadi issue suddenly came up," said Malhotra.

He, however, said that the IOA cannot afford to be in conflict with the IOC and it wants a cordial relation with its parent body.

"We cannot be in conflict with the IOC. We want a perfect relation with the IOC and we appreciate the concerns raised by them. Our endeavour is to take Olympic sports forward in the country with the help of the IOC," he said.

Malhotra also made it clear that IOA would not follow the age and tenure guidelines of the government in its elections.

"We have already said that the age and tenure guidelines of the sports ministry will not apply in the IOA. We follow IOC rules and guidelines.

"When this issue came up, we had sought the advice from IOC which had supported us. The IOC had said that governments cannot interfere in the functioning of the National Olympic Committees. The IOC had given the example of Kuwait which had been derecognised after its government interfered in the functioning of the NOC," he said.

Malhotra said that Union Cabinet had shot down the National Sports Draft Bill which had these age and tenure guidelines.

"When the Bill went in the Union Cabinet, everybody knows it was shot down there. We had even met the Prime Minister and explained the matter that the IOC can even derecognised us if the government forces us on these age and tenure guidelines," he said.

Malhotra also informed that the IOA Executive Board approved the recommendations of a three-man Special Committee appointed by it that Hockey India, and not the Indian Hockey Federation, should run the game in the country.

He refused to answer questions on the controversy surrounding the elections to the Archery Association of India of which he is the president.

Following a Delhi High Court directive to hold elections as per National Sports Development Code, which renders 80-year-old Malhotra ineligible to fight the poll for presidency, the AAI had postponed the elections to October 28.

"I have nothing to say. Let's wait what happens on October 28," he said.

Malhotra also said that the IOA Executive Board did not discuss the election of the office bearers of the Indian Boxing Federation on Sunday.

Rajasthan BJP MLA Abhishek Matoria was yesterday elected President of the IBF, replacing Abhay Singh Chautala, who was handed the nominated post of chairman at its Annual General Meeting here.

The Sports Ministry had barred the IBF from making constitutional changes that could have facilitated continuation of the earlier set of office-bearers.

(Agencies)

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