Goa Olympic Association (GOA) president and North Goa member of parliament Shripad Naik has turned the heat on chief minister Manohar Parrikar with his resignation from the Lusofonia Games organizing committee. Joining him is GOA secretary Gurudatta Bhakta.
The organizing committee, led by Parrikar, had its first meeting on Friday. Naik is chairman of the sports sub-committee and Bhakta a member of the same committee.
"There are several things which we did not like. I cannot pinpoint just one factor which led to our resignation," Naik told TOI on Sunday.
The resignation letter has been sealed and will be handed over to Lusofonia Games CEO, secretary (sports) Keshav Chandra, on Monday.
Naik, for obvious reasons, did not spell out all the differences he has had with the organizing committee. One major bone of contention, though, was the controversial appointment – exclusively reported by TOI in its Saturday edition-of RK Sacheti as one of the two advisors for the Lusofonia Games. VV Saxena is the other advisor.
Sacheti is allegedly a close aide of former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi who is being tried by a Delhi court for major corruption during the Commonwealth Games 2010. From P 1
Sacheti, interestingly, was the joint director general of the Commonwealth Games organizing committee and handled crucial issues of ticketing, accreditation and management of venues. His role was also under the investigating scanner.
"I did not approve of their appointment. They were appointed behind our backs," Naik, who is also the vice-president of ACOLOP or the Association of the Portuguese Speaking Olympic Committees which organizes the Lusofonia Games, said.
Naik and Bhakta are also understood to have been hurt at not being given any influential role in the organizing committee. While Naik has been superseded by two others at the top of the committee, he was only made chairman of a sub committee.
"The sports sub committee has a big role but for everything we need to take prior approval from either the chief minister, chief secretary or secretary (sports)," a GOA official said.
Last month, as chairman of the sports sub-committee, Naik had convened a meeting of all federation officials to finalize the event manual to be sent to the National Olympic Committees of member countries, along with the invitations. The meeting was later called off due to the unavailability of the secretary (sports).
Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) executive director Elvis Gomes said the appointment of Sacheti and Saxena as "advisors" was done after a recommendation from the Commonwealth Games organizing committee.
"We had approached the CWG organizing committee to suggest us names for the advisor job and Sacheti and Saxena's names were recommended because of their active participation in the Commonwealth Games," Gomes said.
The Lusofonia Games, a multi-sport event involving the participation of 12 Portuguese speaking nations, will be held in Goa from November 2-10. [TOI]