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Gill Questions HI Affiliation Process

PTI 24 Jan 2010, 18:49:26 IST
PTI

Sports Minister MS Gill on Sunday  questioned Hockey India's (HI) electoral college and said a clear and transparent poll process is essential for its election. Gill's statement came a day after HI's February 7 elections were postponed indefinitely following a stay order issued by the Rajasthan High Court on the entire electoral college. 

"Everybody knows what is going on in hockey and my ministry is trying hard to fix all the issues. I heard about the cases going on in Delhi, Bombay, Karnataka and Rajasthan and the Sports Ministry's stance would be very clear before the court that we want free and fair elections," Gill said on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

"There are associations like Bombay, Delhi and Karnataka, which are existing for the last 70-80 years and it's not that they are not run democratically. "The world body (FIH) wants one unit in one state but it does not mean you remove the names of those who are democratically running hockey in those states," he added. 

The Sports Minister's statement would give a fillip to the state hockey associations of Bombay, Karnataka, Delhi and Rajasthan, who have been embroiled in legal battles with HI on the recognition issue.

Gill also said that Sports Ministry officials would get in touch with the International Hockey Federation on the recent development, which had raised serious doubts over the conduct of HI polls before the February 28-March 13 World Cup.

"The Rajasthan HC stay order has changed the scenario completely, but my officials will be speaking to Leandro Negre (FIH President) and see what can be done," he said.

The Sports Minister also reiterated that the HI polls must be free and fair and the new office bearers should be acceptable to the countrymen. "A clean, accurate, correct electoral role is the basis of all federations. My formula is that the elections must be clean, clear, transparent, fair and acceptable to India because India is a vibrant democracy," Gill said.

Meanwhile, the Sports Minister lauded the workers for completing the National Stadium in time before the World Cup. He also rated the newly-built stadium, which would also play host to hockey event during this year's Commonwealth Games, as the best venue for the game in the world.

"It (National Stadium) is the best hockey stadium in the world. I congratulate everyone who is involved in building the stadium. The biggest contribution has been given by the workers. I salute the 2,000 workforce who worked night and day to built it," Gill said. PTI