New Delhi:In a dramatic turn of events, the erstwhile Indian Hockey Federation and the newly-formed Hockey India on Sunday decided to bury the hatchet and joined hands to bring the state associations -- both men's and women's -- into HI's fold.
The erstwhile IHF decided to join hands with HI in its general body meeting here on Sunday and formed a six-member sub-committee to work out the modalities of the merger of the men's and women's units in the state level within 45 days time.
"We held a meeting of the IHF general house today with due notice to states and union territories. We have 28 states and five union territories under us of which majority attended the meeting.
"We've been having discussion with Hockey India for quite sometime and in today's meeting the main decision we took was to set up the modalities for the merger of the state associations," Gill told reporters.
"For this purpose we have formed a sub-committee. The main idea is to work out the modalities of the merger and smoothen the process. We have given the committee 45 days' time to complete it," he added.
The members of sub-committee includes Chander Sekhar from Chandigarh, Charanjit Singh (Delhi), Dinesh Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), RK Shetty (Karnataka), Pratap Satpatty (Orissa) and H Khiangte (Mizoram).
Gill also informed that both the parties are working together to settle the court case against Indian Olympic Association, which he filed after IOA disaffiliated the IHF following the 'cash-for-selection' scandal involving former secretary K Jyothikumaran.
"We've asked our advocates to work together and put up a joint petition in the court."
Stating that the decision to join forces with Hockey India was taken in the best interest of the game, Gill said all members of the erstwhile IHF will be part of Hockey India, thereby raising questions about tainted Jyothikumaran's role in the new body.
"In the last 14-15 months many questions were raised, but at the end we felt hockey should not suffer.
"It is also felt that all those members of the IHF who have contributed to hockey for the last so many years should continue to be in the new body," he said.
Gill also claimed that Sunday's meeting was attended by 20 state associations and three union territories, prominent among them are Orissa, Punjab, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Bihar.
He also said that he will hold discussions and try to convince the rebel state units who have joined Bengal Hockey President JB Roy's camp.
"I will strongly urge them to join us. I will talk to them again."
Meanwhile, newly formed Hockey India secretary general Mohammad Aslam, who also attended the meeting, rubbished theories of a secret understanding between the two parties and said their priority is to form a single hockey body in the country, inclusive of men's and women's units.
"There was nothing secret. Whatever happened is open to all. It was good meeting, there were some doubts which I tried to explain. Overall, things have started moving in a positive direction," he said.
"The main issue is Hockey India. We want to have a body in place which represents everybody as soon as possible and today's meeting was a part of that process."
Aslam also said that they are separately talking with state women's units to expedite the process of Hockey India elections.
Asked whether the decision to join hands with the Gill-backed IHF was a paradigm shift on their part, Aslam said, "The IHF was never dissolved. The Indian Olympic Association only disaffiliated it. The IOA doesn't have the power to dissolve any federation."