IOA president’s election: Abhay Chautala may take on Randhir

September 13th, 2012 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) president Abhay Chautala, who has completed three terms as its chief, is likely to be elevated as chairman so that he could be a presidential candidate in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) election next month.

The IABF in the agenda for its Sep 23 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Patiala included a constitutional amendment to create the position of chairman to accommodate Chautala.

The IABF election should be seen in the backdrop of the upcoming IOA AGM as Chautala is likely to be the front man for incumbent president Suresh Kalmadi, who awaits a Supreme Court decision on Delhi High Court’s ruling that he is ineligible to contest having completed the maximum 12 years stipulated under the government guidelines.

Kalmadi has gone on an unspecified sabbatical after he was chargesheeted for financial irregularities in the conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. And with the High Court Thursday ruling that Kalmadi cannot contest the IOA election, Chautala could be Kalmadi’s candidate for the post of IOA president.

IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh is likely to take on Chautala, but the winner could be decided much before the AGM next month as IOA’s executive board On Sep 24 will take a few crucial decisions on the conduct and the modalities of the election.

Randhir Singh apparently is keen on issuing the election for Oct 9 but the acting IOA chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra wants the executive board to decide on the date and also whether it should be fought as per the existing constitution or as per the National Sports Development Code (NSDC).

Randhir Singh also wants an International Olympic Committee (IOC) observer invited for the election whereas Malhotra is opposed to it as IOA never had an international observer at any of its AGMs.

Randhir Singh also wants a three-member committee to conduct the election but even that is being opposed by a section of IOA members.

As the union Cabinet itself is opposed to the government guidelines on the term of office and age limit, a majority of IOA members seemed inclined to going through the election process as per its existing constitution.

If the election is normally done then the candidate’s name will be proposed and seconded on the day of the AGM and the election is held then and there by show of hands without inviting any nominations, scrutiny and withdrawal process.

“The procedure has been going on for over 50 years and if it is good for so long why can’t it be now,” a senior IOA member not wanting to be named told IANS.

When Randhir Singh’s suggestions are put to vote at the Executive Board the outcome is as good as the AGM vote.

As for the IBF election, Chautala cannot continue as per the government guidelines.

The IBF is in a fix. It doesn’t want to antagonise the government and at the same time doesn’t want to scuttle Chautala’s IOA aspirations. They are yet to decide whether to conduct the election as per their constitution or government guidelines.

The last date for filing nominations was Sep 12 and senior vice-president Asit Banerjee told IANS that he will be contesting for the president’s post.

“I have submitted my nomination papers for the post of president. My name has been proposed by IBF secretary-general P.K. Muralidharan Raja and it has been seconded by Anil Bohidar (secretary of Odisha’s boxing body),” said Banerjee, who is also the president of the West Bengal State Boxing Association.

Raja, however, told IANS that he has not proposed Banerjee’s name.

Banerjee also said that senior international referee Jay Kowli, who is the president of Maharastra Boxing Association, has filed nomination papers for the post of secretary general while Nirmalok Singh of Jammu and Kashmir is in the fray for the post of vice-president.

Kowli also confirmed that he had filed his nomination papers Sep 10.

“I have filed my nomination papers,” Kowli told IANS.

There is confusion over the election process, though Raja said it would be decided on the floor of the AGM whether to conduct it as per the IABF constitution or as per government guidelines.

“We are not saying that we won’t follow the government guidelines. Almost 95 percent of the member bodies have agreed that they want to hold the elections as per the constitution. We are still open to follow the government guidelines. But the AGM alone will decide how it should be conducted,” he said.

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