Chennai:Indian Olympic Association has failed to get the basics right in drafting the constitution of Hockey India, Karnataka Hockey Association (KHA) Secretary K Krishnamurthy said on Saturday.
"The IOA nine-member constitution committee has not taken note of problems arising out of merger of men and women units at the state level while drafting the HI constitution," Krishnamurthy, who is tipped to take up an important post in HI, said.
"There was no problem in some of the states unlike Maharashtra. Present HI constitution is wrong in the issue of merger of erstwhile units. Andhra Pradesh were able to merge and get affiliation, but in states like Maharashtra, I don't think it is possible for six units (men and women) to come together. The IOA should have thought about such issues," he said.
The Sports Ministry had recently sought answers from HI after receiving complaints from Maharashtra Hockey Association (MHA) on the merger issue.
Under Secretary of Sports Ministry, Shankar Lal, in his letter had sought HI's comments on a complaint filed by MHA President Sambaji Patil on the merger of several hockey bodies in the state an one unit.
The issue was also referred to S K Mendirata, Legal Adviser of the Election Commission with a request to examine the representation and comments.
"The last date for extension of affiliation to the remaining Units is next Tuesday. The units have to send in their requests before that," Krishnamurthy said.
He said the affiliation given to Ramesh Kallapa group in Kerala now had to be shifted to Nizamuddin-led United Hockey Kerala following a High Court Order.
"It would have been proper to set up merged units and then go for elections. But, there is also urgency because of FIH's ruling," he said.
Though HI had given affiliation to a group to represent Maharashtra, Maharashtra Olympic Association secretary Bala Sabhib Landge expressed surprise over HI's move as his association had not recommended any of six units in the state.
"We do not want to interfere in this since we already had similar problem in Basketball recently and then we were unnecessarily dragged in to legal battle," he said.
Meanwhile, two of the five members who attended the November 30 HI meeting, said on condition of anonymity that HI President A K Matoo announced that 21 units including Punjab had been granted affiliation and elections to HI would be held on January 27 next.
"But to our surprise, Punjab, which was given affiliation was not in the list and instead West Bengal was included after we left the meeting," they said.
Matoo had an informal meeting with the IOA observer Lalit Bhanot, who had said that as per HI Constitution, only 10 people are required to participate and vote in election.
Matoo said if any other erstwhile units sought affiliation, the newly elected body will examine their case.
The two members said Matoo at the meeting asked the Bengal Association Secretary Gurbax Singh why his state Olympic association had not sent his association papers to HI.
Later, Gurbax submitted just a sheet of paper, wherein something was written and signed. Members, who attended the meeting were not told what was written in that paper nor circulated among the members, they said.
"The informal meeting also decided that Kalmadi, Batra and Krishnamurthy will be the future President, Secretary and Treasurer of the HI till 2014. We are also now told that Krishnamurthy and Batra will swap places," they said.
Asked why Karnataka association was not given affiliation despite his presence at the meeting, Krishnamurthy said HI by now would have received the letter from his state Olympic association.
Reacting to MSOA's confirmation that they have not submitted any recommendation letter to HI, Olympian Gurbax Singh Grewal, Secretary Mumbai Hockey Association said, "We are affiliated to MSOA and we are in the know of things. That is the reason MHA has decided to seek legal remedy. We are filing a petition in a court here (Mumbai) early next week against HI for not granting us affiliation."
Grewal contended that "HI has no right to insist on merger of men and women units and FIH themselves in its written submission to the centre in November 2006 had favoured the continuance of Indian Hockey Confederation."
Quoting relevant portions from FIH report to Indian Government, he said FIH had stated that the Confederation, formed in 2000 to comply with the rules and bye-laws of the FIH, was the sole body for men and women representing India internationally.
"The cooperation will bring benefits and should be encouraged both at national and state level," he said. So the HI or the IOA has no right to tamper with the existing system and insist on merger at state level, he added.