Sports

Out of the loop, national hockey body raps State association

Saba Nayakan Kolkata | Updated on August 04, 2013

Gurbux Singh

One of the oldest State sports bodies in the country , the Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) has had to face the ignominy of being suspended, albeit temporarily, by Hockey India, which controls the sport in the country.

The reasons for suspending the association, which organises the prestigious Beighton Cup, seem genuine enough, although it has caused consternation among followers of the game.

The suspension is also sure to embarrass the BHA officials who are at the helm.

Plan goes awry

After controlling the BHA for 16 long years as the honorary secretary, Olympian Gurbux Singh and his team swept through the elections capturing 18 of the 20 available positions in the Executive Council. Till then, everything went as per plan.

When the stage came to decide on the secretary, the elected body unanimously chose Salil Basu, one of its assistant secretaries for the past many years.

As an insider revealed, Gurbux Singh had hoped to be re-elected again but the house thought otherwise. With Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, retired IPS officer, remaining the President, the other two office-bearer positions were taken up by Basu (secretary) and N. K. Rai (treasurer).

The Council also named Gurbux Singh as one of the six vice-presidents, a position he accepted like all other previous outgoing secretaries. Gopi Nath Ghosh, immediate past treasurer, too was nominated as the vice-president, along with N. D. Mehta, Dilip Bhattacharya and Surajit Kar Purkayastha, the Kolkata police chief, and Swapan Banerjee, the youngest brother of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

As protocol demanded, the outgoing secretary should have introduced the new office-bearers to the National body since he and the BHA president are the two officials known to Hockey India. Also, the HI should have been informed about the elections of the State body so that it could have sent an observer to attend the annual general meeting and elections.

The failure of the BHA to adhere to the technicalities of the HI came to light when the new secretary tried to communicate with the National federation . The BHA elections were held on December 15 last year and the new body has been operating the bank accounts after the outgoing treasurer introduced the new office-bearers.

To solve the imbroglio, HI has called Chakrabarti for a meeting at New Delhi on Thursday where he has been asked to submit all the documents needed to establish the genuineness of the new body.

It is hoped that HI will accept the new body and lift the suspension at the earliest failing which, the State body is certain to see another round of crisis.

> sabanayakan.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 04, 2013

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