New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the International Olympic Committee's move to suspend the Indian Olympic Association has come as a huge national and international embarrassment, and said that the government and the body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Olympic Games should sit together and reconcile all differences.
Jaitley said the government and the Indian Olympic Association have to display an element of statesmanship at this moment so that the Indian Sports can be saved.
"It is a huge national and international embarrassment. There are times when our performance both in the Commonwealth Games and in the Olympic Games have been proved that we should now be ousted from the Olympic movement, this would not be acceptable to either Indian sportspersons or any self-respecting Indian. And therefore, the government and the IOA must show an element of statesmanship," said Jaitley.
"They must sit together and the extent of differences they have are not of the nature that they can't be reconciled. And therefore there is a need to reconcile the differences and make sure that India again very quickly becomes a part of the Olympic movement," he added.
Sports Minister Jitendra Singh earlier today said the government would talk to the International Olympic Committee over the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association.
Singh said he had warned the IOA to amend its constitution, and added that it was not the time for making allegations but to resolve the situation.
"As of now, we have to immediately sit together. And it is very important for the image of the country, for sports and for the sportspersons. This problem, which has come up, we can resolve that. I would also like to say that it's very very sad that despite the warnings of the IOC, the IOA did not amend the constitution," said Singh.
"And I would like to absolutely state here that the Sports Code is in sync with the IOC Charter. There is no difference," he added.
the International Olympic Committee had repeatedly told the Indian body to adhere to its own constitution and the Olympic Charter and not follow the government's sports code.
The decision was taken after the IOA decided to go ahead with the elections on Wednesday under the government's Sports Code, defying the IOC's diktat to hold the polls under the Olympic Charter. IOA went ahead saying they were bound by the Delhi High Court order.
The suspension means that India's athletes will be barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag, but they can participate under the IOC banner.
The IOC's decision taken in Lausanne, Switzerland, will prevent India from taking part in the Olympics.