The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has expressed its commitment to hosting a shooting competition before Birmingham 2022 and endorsed the idea of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to allow medals won there to count towards the overall Commonwealth Games table.
NRAI President Raninder Singh was part of a recent meeting, held in Munich earlier this month, between the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
The meeting saw discussions take place on the ISSF's plans for shooting within the Commonwealth sports movement.
As reported by the Press Trust of India, Singh has now written to IOA President Narinder Batra, assuring the NRAI’s full commitment to a major shooting event around four months before Birmingham 2022 and seeking the IOA’s cooperation in helping it submit a "formal proposal" to the CGF.
In the letter, Singh states the NRAI is willing to host a Commonwealth shooting event in India at an appropriate venue commencing on March 14, 2022, coinciding with Commonwealth Day.
Making a brief outline of the proposal, he wrote: "... this offer is made to the CGF ... that upon completion of its regulatory and administrative review process, the competent authority of CGF, accords its approval and acceptance to medals awarded at this proposed event being accorded equal protocol as any medals won by a competing nation at the main event conducted later in the Birmingham CWG.
"In essence these medals would be treated in nature as an opening balance for each competing nation to build upon by competing in those other events in Birmingham.
"Thus affording nations the capability to maximise their medal potential at the CWG, an issue central and so established by the IOA to the CGF."
Singh, also a vice-president of the ISSF, claimed Birmingham 2022 would not be involved in financing the event.
"The NRAI is willing to provide eligible athletes and their accompanying coaches/staff for this event, exclusively at its own expense; airfare to and from the venue, quality hotel lodgings, meals, all local transportation, adequate free training," Singh writes.
He adds in the letter: "Though very welcome to do so, should any competing nation wish to enter additional athletes or a nation that did not compete at the Gold Coast in shooting events wish to now compete at this event, then these athletes and officials would not be eligible to any such support and it would be the responsibility of the NFs (National Federations) and National Olympic Committees of such new entrants to make suitable arrangements for them."
The CGF has written to Batra to inform him about the joint proposal of the ISSF and the NRAI.
According to the Herald Publicist, it said the proposal "substantively meets the expectations of all stakeholders".
"The NRAI will work with you and Government of India to develop a formal submission to the CGF, for consideration early January, by the CGF Sports Committee and then to the CGF Executive Board for approval," the letter reads.
"This proposal must be formally endorsed and submitted by the Indian Commonwealth Games Association as the official member of the CGF," the CGF state within the letter.
CGF President Louise Martin wrote within the letter: "We look forward to supporting them (ISSF and NRAI) with your endorsement in developing their innovative proposal."
India is set to make a decision on a proposed boycott of Birmingham 2022 at a crucial meeting next week.
Batra has claimed the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will have the final say on whether the country sends athletes to the Commonwealth Games in three years' time.
He has previously claimed it would be to early to make a final call on the boycott in protest at the exclusion of shooting from the programme at the AGM, scheduled for December 30 in New Delhi, after IOA officials met with the CGF in November.
The CGF held talks with the ISSF earlier this month to discuss the Indian situation.