PANAJI: Preparation for the 36th National Games, to be held in Goa in March 2019, appeared to be sailing through turbulent waters with recently re-elected secretary general Gurudutta Bhakta offering to resign.
However, GOA president Shripad Naik is set to nominate him as general secretary. “It is still not clear whether Gurudutta is resigning or Siddheshwar Naik is resigning. I have just arrived from New Delhi. If Gurudutta decides to resign, I will nominate him as I have the right as president,” Shripad Naik told The Navhind Times over the phone.
The Navhind Times, at the time of going to the press, could not ascertain whether The GOA president can nominate the person of his choice to the post of secretary general. Attempts to contact secretary general of Indian Olympic Association also proved futile.
“I am hearing about the secretary offering to resign from you. If the president asks me to resign, I am ready. I cannot say anything now. Let me speak to the president first,” stated Goa Judo Association secretary Siddheshwar Naik.
“Gurudutta is an excellent organiser. I had mentioned when I was the member of the GOA that the General Body be asked for an extension till the completion of the National Games and that the elections could be held thereafter,” stated Narahar Thakur, president of Goa Badminton Association (GBA) and former vice president of GOA. “Whatever his style of functioning, his organisational skills cannot be doubted,” added Narahar.
The matter of two members of one association not being able to be in the GOA committee simultaneously was raised before the Returning Officer prior to election by GBA secretary Sandeep Heble. However, the Returning Officer had replied by saying that nothing could be done until the results were declared.
“The elections were held within the constitution of GOA. The Returning Officer was right in his decision and my decision to resign has come as a result of two of us from the same association having got elected,” stated Gurudutta Bhakta.
“I do not want and am not ready to ask my colleague Siddheshwar to resign. As the president I have offered to resign. I will withdraw my offer only if he (Siddheshwar) instead offers to resign. We have been working within the framework of the constitution and I wanted it to be that way,” stated Gurudutta.
In a letter to IOA president and secretary, prior to GOA elections, Sandeep had prayed that “The GOA constitution is currently not in consonance with the IOA constitution and elections are being conducted in contradiction to various procedures laid down especially regarding tenure clauses.”
The GOA managing committee was against accepting the resignation of Gurudutta Bhakta because of his organisational capabilities and wanted Siddheshwar Naik to step down, instead.
Efforts to contact Siddheshwar for his final decision proved futile till the time of going to press. Whatever he decides, Gurudutta appears to be the choice to head the organisational aspects of the National Games.