Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 1:
Martial art Taekwondo, which came to Odisha some three decades back, is yet to achieve mainstream attention. However, this hasn’t stopped the leaders of Odisha Taekwondo Association (OTA) to fight against each other for control of the Association instead of working towards the betterment of the sport.
As a result, there is utter confusion among aspiring sportsmen and their guardians, who can never figure out which camp they should stick to in order to make a career out of it.
Even though the Odisha Olympics Association (OOA) has recognized Santosh Kumar Mohanty as the Secretary of OTA and has made it clear in a letter dated March 9 that he is going to remain in the position till 2018, this has not done enough to stop groupism.
OTA, which is an affiliated body of All India Taekwondo Association, had its last election in 2014 in which Santosh Kumar Mohanty was elected as the Secretary. However, after he attended a vote of confidence meeting and voted against Renu Mahanta, the President of All India Taekwondo Association, he was suspended.
Santosh, however, doesn’t recognize the suspension as Renu lost the vote of confidence in the same meeting following which Assam’s Raj Kakatia was selected as the working president.
“In the meeting of the All India Taekwondo Association held in Kolkata, 48 out of 68 members voted against Renu. He doesn’t have any legal right to stay on in his position after this and any order issued by him after this is not valid. Disciplinary action is also being considered against Renu in Indian Olympics Association,” said Santosh.
While the OTA has been split in three different groups already with each one trying to control the association, two of them are planning to send their own players for the upcoming national level competitions.
OTA’s elected president Santosh Kumar Mohanty has announced a state level competition in Nimapada around July which will select athletes for the state team that would represent Odisha in the national level competition.
On the other hand, another faction of OTA led by Renu Mahanta group yesterday held a press conference in Bhubaneswar announcing their own state level competition in Bhubaneswar next month that would select the team for national level competitions.
The third faction is being led by Gopal Roy, whom many consider as the Secretary of OTA.