In first signs of some consensus among India’s squabbling boxing administrators, five vice Presidents and two zonal secretaries were elected unopposed ahead of the soon-to-be-formed new federation’s elections on Sunday.
The body — to be called the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) — is expected to take shape on Sunday with the much-awaited elections going ahead despite allegations of corruption by some of the contesting candidates.
At the end of the nominations process, Khoibi Salam Singh (North East), Anil Kumar Bohidar (South East Zone), Dr C B Raje (South Zone), Narendra Kumar Nirwan (North West Zone) and Anil Kumar Misra (Central Zone) were elected Vice-Presidents without any contest.
G V Ravi Raju (South East) and R Gopu (South Zone) were the two zonal secretaries to get elected unopposed.
As expected, the President’s post will see a four-way battle between Delhi’s Rohit Jain, Uttarakhand’s Ajay Singh, Himachal Pradesh’s Rajesh Bhandari and Haryana’s Rakesh Thakran.
Singh is a late entrant to the race and his candidature has created quite a stir in the fraternity with Jain alleging that he has used money power to manipulate the polls. However, Singh’s camp has rejected the charge.
The Secretary General’s position also has four candidates in fray — Maharashtra’s Jay Kowli, Jammu and Kashmir’s Dr Nirmolak Singh, Thakran and Lenny D’Gama of Goa.
Both Kowli and Thakran have held the position in the past as well.
For the Treasurer’s position, Assam’s Hemanta Kumar Kalita and Tamil Nadu’s Pon Bhaskaran are the two candidates in fray.
The polls had been hit by allegations of corruption by Presidential candidate Rohit Jain, who had claimed that a quid pro quo deal was offered to him by Kowli for an unopposed election to the top post.
However, the charge was denied by the coordination committee which is overseeing the process along with the ad-hoc committee. Both the panels are currently running the sport, which has been in administrative disarray for the past four years.
It all started with the termination of the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation in 2012 for “manipulation in elections”.
The body that took charge after two years of turmoil was Boxing India, which could not carry on for even a year and was dissolved in 2015 following a revolt by the state units.
The administrative logjam has taken a massive toll on the sport and there has been no National Tournaments in the period.
The boxers have also been denied exposure in most of the training-cum-competition tournaments, which were a major contributor in their success in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Only three men managed to make the cut for the Games in Rio last month and none could fetch a medal.