In a democracy, the world revolves around majority. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), as a microcosm, too believes in that adage. It’s a different matter whether they follow it to the core. At least on paper, it’s a house that’s ruled by the majority.
When the bugle is sounded for the Executive Council (EC) meeting on Thursday at a Chennai hotel, the collective voice will not be unanimous or one. It will have different pitch and tenor.
If Tuesday’s emergent meeting is something to go by, then a few pyros too is expected within the confines of the hall. As one senior member who has quite a command in the IOA says, “Hum to majority se jate hai. In IOA, everything is done through the consensus of the house and majority usually stands.”
The EC meeting had its theatrics too. Some of the associate members who were present at the emergent EC meeting in New Delhi too will be present on Thursday. They, however, have not been officially invited as per IOA protocol. Some senior members explained that they are well within their rights to attend. The only thing is they will not be allowed to vote.
The other interesting thing keeping everyone confused is a hotel. Initially, the hotel designated to the EC members who are here was the same hotel as the meeting venue. However, because there are associate members here, IOA officials were confused for a while. Some felt the other hotel was supposed to host officials who supported the requisitionists and the other was those who were supporting president N Ramachandran’s EC meeting.
There have been indications that by Thursday evening demands made by the majority will be accepted. The electoral college will be finalised, as will the returning officer and observers. Though there is intense speculation, the presidential candidate may not be announced on Thursday. The nominations and other formalities will be taken care of later.
IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta apparently is the man expected to put across points that might not be agreeable to the president. Change of venue for the annual general meeting is a sticky point and might be the dominant theme. Charges of sullying the IOA’s image too might be raised. On Tuesday, most EC members were present at the meeting. Only the president was missing. There were rumours in Delhi that because of rain there is complete connectivity breakdown. Some said this caused the AGM to be shifted to Delhi.
The list of office bearers for the next term is yet to be fixed. Though Mehta is expected to continue as secretary general, the candidate for president is not final. The meeting is expected to be volatile if the president fails to produce something to keep members interested or accept what the house decides. But most top officials feel this would be the last meeting before reaching an understanding.
A rival faction organises a meeting supporting Narinder Batra's candidature to the post. In the same meet, there is a motion to change a few words of the IOA constitution so as to enable Batra to stand for the post of president.
Ramachandran subsequently calls an Executive Committee meeting on November 9, followed by an Annual General Meeting on December 14. A request to hold an SGM as requested in the meeting in September is turned down.
Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of the body, calls for an emergent meeting of the EC in New Delhi for November 7.
Emergent meeting goes ahead, chaired by Virendra Nanavati. Members agree on shifting of IOA AGM from Chennai to New Delhi. Twenty-one of 27 EC members attend, possibly reflecting support.
All of them decide to turn up at the November 9 meeting anyway where they will give Ramachandran the chance to speak up on the allegation that he has brought the association into disrepute.