Miffed at the Sports Ministry for not inviting him for the National Sports Award ceremony on Sunday, Indian Olympic Association secretary general Randhir Singh on Tuesday resigned from the governing body of Sports Authority of India.
Randhir shot off a caustic letter to Sports Minister M S Gill informing him about the resignation and expressing his shock and disappointment at the "attitude of the sports officials".
"The proof of the pudding is in eating. I started tasting this in recent months, thanks to the tone and tenor of Sports Ministry officials. It has been rather shocking to say the least. That proof of officials' attitude was reflected when they ignored even a routine invitation to me for the Arjuna Awards function on National Sports Day. I have been receiving the invitation from time immemorial as a renowned sportsperson and an administrator," he said in the letter.
"I hereby tender my resignation from the governing body of Sports Authority of India with immediate effect," he added.
Randhir, who is also Olympic Council of Asia general secretary and International Olympic Committee member, said he could understand that he was being ignored for opposing the government's recent tenure and age limitation guidelines.
"Though I am not at all surprised, I did not expect to happen in a manner that can hurt feelings of a sportsperson whose credentials are unsullied. I don't want to make an issue out of something that is trivial in nature, but I want to let the authorities know how they start behaving when they don't like someone who refuses to tow their line.
"I knew it was coming. The U-turn in ministry officials' attitude began no sooner than had I started supporting the Olympic Charter and vehemently opposed the imposition of government guidelines on the Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations," said Randhir.
He said despite the attitude of the sports ministry he would continue to work for the autonomy of the IOA and NSFs under Olympic Charter.
"I did what I did, knowing full well that I run the risk of hurting those in the sports ministry. But I, as a member of IOC, need to safeguard the interests of the Olympic Charter - which supports the autonomy of the its Olympic body and its affiliates, the NSFs. I will continue to do what I have been doing all these years - as a sportsperson of some repute, as secretary general of both IOA and OCA and, above all, as a member of IOC," he said in the letter.
Interestingly, Randhir enclosed a list of international multi-sporting events in which he was made chairman of Working Group and member of Coordination Committee.
Those were in five Asian Games and Asian Winter Games each, three Asian Indoor Games, two Asian Beach Games and one Asian Youth Games and one Asian Martial Arts Games.
"I would like to enclose my CV for the benefit of Doubting Thomases," he said.