Pune: Faced with mounting pressure to drop his Olympic trip to London, a defiant Suresh Kalmadi today hit back at Ajay Maken, accusing the Sports Minister of carrying out a vilification campaign against him and called for his resignation.
Kalmadi, who was allowed by a Delhi court to travel to London for the Olympics, said it was unbecoming of the Prime Minister to ask for his resignation.
“I was quite shocked and dismayed to read Ajay Maken’s reaction to the Honorable Court’s decision to grant me permission to visit London for the forthcoming Olympic Games.
In view of Mr Maken going against the court decision, which is quite unbecoming of a sports minister I request our prime minister to ask for Mr Maken’s resignation for making such comments and statements,” Kalmadi said at a press conference here.
Kalmadi accused Maken of interfering in the functioning of Sports Federations and causing “groupism” which will ultimately affect the performance of sportspersons in the Olympics.
“Mr Maken threatening Indian Olympic Association (IOA) that he would try to ensure that I was not part of the Indian delegation, shows lack of knowledge about the functioning of autonomous sports bodies.
“I am attending the IAF meeting coinciding with the London Olympics as a Council Member of the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) and president of Asian Athletic Association. I don’t need any support from the Sports Ministry,” said Kalmadi, who is currently on bail after spending nearly a year in Tihar jail following the CWG scandal.
“Therefore, the union sports minister’s charges that my participation in Olympics will kill the basic spirit of Olympics, shows Mr Maken’s total disregard to the spirit of the games,” he added.