CHENNAI/BENGALURU:For the first time in its history, the Basketball Federation of India is facing rebellion from within. The house seems to be divided into two groups. The secretary general, Ajay Sud, resigned from his position earlier this month and there is some confusion regarding the dates and venue of the AGM.
There were two separate circulars sent out to state units with two different dates and venues. According to insiders, the secretary had sent a letter on March 2 announcing the venue and date of the AGM.
Due to financial and logistical reasons, most state units decided to hold the meeting alongside the Federation Cup to begin in Pune from March 29.
“That’s why we slotted the AGM for March 28 in Pune and the secretary sent out the letter on March 2,” said Roopam Sharma, CEO of BFI.
According to another faction, president of the BFI, R Gill, sent a letter earlier, on February 28. However, Roopam said: “Sud sent the letter first.”
The late Harish Sharma was secretary till 2011. But BFI created a new position of CEO for him before his death, which could be exempt from the government sports code.
Sud then replaced Sharma as secretary general. After Sharma’s death in 2012, his wife Roopam took over as CEO and has since held the position.
It has been learnt the Gill faction wants to elevate senior vice president K Govindraj of Karnataka as president. However, the other faction that enjoys majority as well as IOA and ministry’s support wants Poonam Mahajan as president. According to the Gill faction, Sud was upset for having to change the venue and dates. As such he decided to quit.
“On moral grounds and taking responsibility for what has happened, I extend my resignation,” Sud said in a letter to Gill, with copy to all BFI members.
Roopam denied that he resigned citing moral ground. “Why did the out-going president accept his resignation without consulting the house?” she asked.
“Most of the units by then had already booked their tickets for the Federation Cup being held at Pune from March 29,” said Roopam.
“The date was fixed for that particular day because almost two-thirds of the units (around 22) had sent a letter saying this would be a convenient place to host the AGM since the members would be travelling with the team for the event.
“Besides financial issues, most of the members felt that logistically it would be better.”
She, however, did not know what prompted the president to change the venue and date for the AGM. “We adopted the sports code only by the end of October (around 31st) last year,” said Roopam.
“What seemed to be a smooth change-over has suddenly taken an unwanted political turn. I feel everyone should work towards the betterment of the sport. Even IOA and the ministry are sending observers to Pune for the AGM.”