The Indian Olympic Association(IOA) has asked the Equestrian Federation of India not to hold its elections on September 29 without amending its constitution and warned of further action if it proceeds with the polls.
The IOA has objected to a provision in the EFI constitution which allows individual members and clubs to have voting rights in the Annual General Body Meetings. It said the EFI cannot conduct elections without bringing change in this provision through amendment of its constitution.
The IOA said it was also against EFI’s practice of appointing officials in government services as office bearers (president, secretary general and treasurer) instead of being elected from among the candidates of state/UT associations.
“… regarding election of EFI on 29 September, 2019, IOA expresses its disagreement on EFI proceeding with elections though the needful amendment of constitution is still pending, which impacts governance in equestrian sport in India,” the IOA said in a letter to EFI President Lt. Gen. R Gopal.
“If EFI proceeds with the election and appointments based on current norms, it would be liable to further sanctions,” IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta wrote.
The IOA said under its constitution a National Sports Federation must have only one unit in a state, and only that unit is eligible to vote (in NSF elections).
“The right to vote at any of the NSFs is granted to those associations that have only one sport association in one state for that sport. It implies … it will be ‘one state, one unit’ and at the national level also it will be one unit (that is NSF) for one sport.
“In contradiction, the EFI Statutes … states that all the members of the EFI (including individuals/clubs/units) have the right to attain AGM meetings and right to vote,” Mehta said in the letter.
Mehta said that instead of office bearers (president, secretary general and treasurer) being elected from among the state/UT associations, the practice of EFI was to appoint officials in government services which “jeopardises the essential principle of Olympic movement to maintain autonomous governance”.
“These violations of EFI were deliberated during the AGM of the IOA on 22 December 2018 and it was unanimously decided that EFI would continue to be a member of the IOA without voting rights, until there are corrective actions in governance.