Abhay Singh Chautala will have the final say on selecting candidates for the panel that is likely to win the upcoming Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections.
Members of the IOA, which has been suspended by the IOC, along with many of Chautala and Lalit Bhanot’s supporters met at residence of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) politician to deliberate on the election process. While they decided to try and stay on the right side of the IOC’s diktat, of ridding the IOA of tainted administrators to avoid any further setback in getting its suspension lifted, Chautala, once again, appears to hold the key to the numbers in deciding the composition of the new body.
Chautala and Bhanot were the two most high-profile casualties of the charge-framed clause that bars convicted or charged administrators from contesting the elections. “We met yesterday and he was given the job to decide the names,” Tarlochan Singh, vice-president of the Archery Association of India and member of the suspended IOA, said. “We also decided that for the sake of traditions, we should hold unanimous election.”
N Ramachandran, who was the treasurer in the last body and BP Baishya, who is the president of the Indian Weightlifting Federation, are the early favourites to get the nod to be candidates for IOA chief. Rajiv Mehta has been tipped to bag the nomination for secretary general.
Filing of nominations for the February 9 elections will start on January 24 and end on January 26. Interestingly, candidates will have to give an undertaking along with the nomination papers that they have not been convicted and do not face any charges in any court of law in India.
Meanwhile, the election committee has clarified that “the member and the office bearers of the executive council elected in AGM in 2008 and 2012 were both entitled to contest for the post of president and secretary general”. Previously, there had been confusion as to whether only those in the 2008 body were fit to stand in the elections.