The former Hockey India president was asked to resign as he violated the norms of the National Sports Development Code 2011.

Mohammed Mushtaque Ahmad has alleged that religious discrimination has been done against him after he was asked to resign from his presidential post in Hockey India. Ahmed was midway through his tenure when he was issued this notice by the ministry recently.

To put it into context, under-secretary Raju Bagga had signed a letter than explained this whole scenario. Mushtaque Ahmed had previously served as the treasurer of Hockey India from 2010-2014. Thereafter, he assumed the role of the secretary-general from 2014-2018. The National Sports Development Code 2011 limits the tenure of a secretary general or a treasurer to two successive spells of four years each.

The individual is then required to follow a cooling-off period of four years. Ahmad violated this regulation by taking over the role of the president in 2018 immediately after his spell as the under-secretary concluded.

Now, he accuses the Sports Ministry of foul intentions regarding his religion in a letter directed to them. As per TOI, Ahmad wrote, “I would like to place on record my feeling that the ministry of youth affairs and sports’ (MoYAS) belated decision smells of bad intention against me as the president of HI being from the minority community, while presidents with names such as Sudhanshu Mittal (kho-kho association), Rajeev Mehta (fencing) and Anandeshwar Panday (secretary general, handball) are being given a free run to continue in spite of their violation of the sports code in their federations respectively. This makes me feel that by having a name as Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad seems to be a problem.”

He once again reiterated his allegation by remarking, “I once again say that I have been deliberately penalised by your ministry because my name is Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad. I may be permitted to approach all the available forums, including the Prime Minister, if no satisfactory action/reply is received from the MoYAS.”

Further, the former president of Hockey India has two more complaints with the Sports Ministry. He says that they should have clarified this stance back in their letter dated 04.09.2018 where they stated that the presidential election to be held on 01.10.2018 will be the second one after the one that took place on 13.10.2014. Ahmad affirms that the MoYAS could have saved him from this supposed embarrassment that he is facing now. He also points finger at the fact that the ministry took 15 months to take a decision on this matter.

“I would like to have an answer from the MoYAS on the question when the HI submitted a response to MoYAS’ letter vide HI’s letter dated 23.02.2019, why the ministry waited for 15 months to take a decision in the matter? Further, I may be apprised of the relevant provision of the sports code, under which my tenure for the unrecognised period, i.e., 2010-2014 has been taken as my first tenure as the office-bearer,” Mushtaque Ahmad asked.

Additionally, a similar scenario is erupting in the BCCI too. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly had become the president of the board in October, 2019. However, he will have to voluntarily vacant the post by the end of this month to serve a three year ‘cooling off’ period. According to the new constitution of the BCCI, an administrator can assume office only for six years on a trot and Ganguly had already held posts in the Cricket Association of Bengal for five years prior to his stint with the national body.

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