Following in the footsteps of IHF chief KPS Gill, Indian Women Hockey Federation secretary Amrit Bose too on Saturday backed the government's contentious tenure limitation guidelines and made it clear that she will not contest the much-awaited elections of the national body.
"I am not contesting the election because we (IWHF) have accepted the government guidelines (on tenure limitation). I will now play a mentor role and will groom the younger generation," Bose said after the IWHF's Special General Meeting in New Delhi.
After reinstatement of IHF, Gill, who ruled Indian hockey for nearly 15 years, had last week supported the Sports Ministry's decision to fix the tenure of presidents of Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations at 12 years with or without break and said he will not contest Hockey India polls.
According to the ministry regulations, the secretary generals and the treasurers' tenure was fixed at eight years at a stretch. The guidelines also advocate a retirement age of 70 years.
Bose, meanwhile, claimed that the meeting was attended by a two-third majority and only six states -- Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Jammu & Kashmir -- gave it a miss.
She said they had also formed a five-member sub-committee to chalk out the modalities of the merger with IHF.
"21 states out of 31 attended today's Special General Meeting. Apart from them, three states in Jharkhand, Bengal and Tripura had sent their solidarity letter with us," the IWHF secretary said.
"In the meeting we discussed the merger of state associations. We formed a five-member committee which will initiate dialogues with IHF very shortly to formulate and make policies of merger of the two federations at the national level and later at the state level.
"We will be making sure that elections are held at the earliest so that a democratic body is formed," Bose said.
Bose criticised IOA and Hockey India's handling of the game in the last two years and informed that the IWHF has decide to conduct the nationals in August-September this year.
"For the last two years, everyday Hockey India members kept on changing. No minutes of the meetings were circulated to anybody. Hockey India failed to conducted the nationals in the last two years.
"I had written to IOA president (Suresh Kalmadi) in May 2009, saying that the procedures followed by them was undemocratic and then voluntarily walked out of Hockey India," she said.
"They (Hockey India) could not hold the election so far.
What was the delay and why was the delay? They are making mockery of hockey in the country. The game is suffering because of vested interests of a few people. The IOA also need to change its attitude towards hockey," Bose added.
However, like Gill she also did not rule out the possibility of joining hands with Hockey India.
"I have no reservation provided they (Hockey India) come forward," Bose said.
Bose was particularly critical of former IWHF chief and present Hockey India president Vidya Stokes, who had questioned the legitimacy of the meeting.
"Who is she (Stokes) to merge IWHF with Hockey India. Ms Stokes did not have the authority to do so as she did not consult the general house of IWHF before taking the decision," she said.
The IWHF secretary said the federation would provide the minutes of today's meeting, which was also attended by a government observer, to the Sports Ministry as well as the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
"We will pass on the minutes of the meeting to the ministry and FIH. We are going to write to the ministry, asking it to give us back our old status.
"We will request the ministry to allot us a office in the National Stadium to start our activities afresh. We will also ask for grant from the ministry," Bose said.