Former India [ Images ] captain Pargat Singh on Saturday filed his nomination for the Hockey India president's post, setting the stage for a showdown with HI interim head Vidya Stokes in the July 28 polls in New Delhi [ Images ].
Stokes, who was earlier chief of Indian Women's Hockey Federation, has already filed her nominations.
After filing his nomination before Returning Officer Justice R C Chopra, Pargat vowed to revive hockey and clean the mess the national game is in.
"We have seen what hockey is going through for quite some time. There is a divided house but I won't let it divide anymore. I will take hockey to its lost glory," Pargat, also Punjab [ Images ] Hockey Secretary, told reporters at a press briefing here.
"For the last couple of years hockey is being played in court rooms and inside closed chambers but not on the field. Whatever I am today is because of hockey, I want to give something back to the game. So, today I have filed my nomination for the President's post," he said.
"It doesn't matter whether the house is of 56 or 57 people but I would appeal all to be conscious while voting. Like-minded people should come forward who wants to promote hockey," Pargat added.
Exuding confidence about his victory, the former India full back said he would pay emphasis on the domestic structure and the well being of the players.
"I won't let hockey demote any further. I will work to take hockey to its lost glory. The coaching system and umpiring system needs to be upgraded. We need to prepare a calender and revive the domestic structure," Pargat observed.
"Presently, there is hardly any domestic tournament in India. We have a very limited pool of players and over that we warn them of possible ban if they play this or that tournament. The players are confused where to play and where not. This is the situation at the ground level," he said.
Pargat, however, refused to divulge the names of other possible candidates from his panel, which, reportedly, has the full backing of Bengal Hockey Association President J B Roy.
But it is learnt that besides Pargat, Karnataka [ Images ] State Hockey Association secretary K Krishnamurthy and Hockey Arunachal's Gunjum Haider have both filed their nominations for the twin posts of secretary and treasurer.
There is still some uncertainty over Krishnamurthy's candidature as Hockey India secretary Narinder Batra has challenged the Karnataka High Court's interim order, which gave Krishnamurthy the right to represent Hockey Karnataka in the polls.