Jalandhar, January 27
Hockey Punjab, a state-level hockey body, has been suspended by Hockey India over allegations that the election process adopted by the state body is in serious violation with the principles of Hockey India.
In a notice sent to Hockey Punjab, it has been mentioned that the Hockey India Executive Board at its meeting after considering various aspects, unanimously agreed that the election process adopted by Hockey Punjab is in violation of the principles of a free and fair election process set by Hockey India. It said that voting cannot be dispensed with, as was done by Hockey Punjab for elections for the period of 2021-2025.
It further reads that a notice was sent to Hockey Punjab in this regard. However, their response that no individuals submitted their nomination for any post was found unsatisfactory. Therefore, Hockey Punjab has been considered a defaulter and liable for disaffiliation since it is not following any guidelines or instructions that cover good governance, transparency and good ethical practices.
“The executive board of Hockey India has taken a serious view and suspended the Hockey Punjab until free and fair elections can be held by the Ad Hoc Committee,” the notice reads.
Besides, Hockey India has formed a three-member adhoc committee for the day-to-day working of Hockey Punjab, keeping in view the interests of Punjab players. Bhola Nath Singh, Olympian Balwinder Singh Shammi and Cdr RK Srivastava have been appointed Chairman, Member, and Convener, respectively.
Meanwhile, former secretary-general of the Surjit Hockey Society Iqbal Singh Sandhu, while welcoming the decision, alleged that hockey Olympian-turned-politician Pargat Singh, along with a local businessman has been misusing Hockey Punjab for its own political benefits. He said Pargat who was Director (Sports), Punjab, in 2009 joined hands with the SAD chief and then deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to dislodge the DGP, Punjab, from the post of president as the control of Punjab Hockey was used to be with the Police Department.
In October 2009, Sukhbir became the president and Pargat Singh as secretary-general by setting up a new body called namely Hockey Punjab. Sandhu further said when the Akali government lost elections in 2017, Pargat Singh joined hands with the Congress and removed Sukhbir from the post of president and appointed Nitin Kohli, a local businessman.
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