The prospect of Narinder Batra’s election as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief brightened on Wednesday after the General Body’s interpretation of an article of its constitution, which will allow him to contest for the top job post.
The highest decision-making body of the IOA, in its special meeting, unanimously decided to allow office bearers and members of the Executive Council elected in 2012 and 2014 to contest for the post of president and secretary general in the December 14 polls.
The Special GBM was called to discuss and interpret Article XI (1) (c) of the IOA Constitution which states that: “… it shall be a mandatory requirement for elections to the posts of President and Secretary General that only those members, who had held the office and were members of the preceding Executive Council of the IOA, shall be eligible to contest the elections.”
“The General House today passed a resolution to the effect that the office bearers and members of the Executive Council elected in 2012 and 2014 will be eligible to contest for the post of president and secretary,” IOA vice-president Tarlochan Singh said after the meeting.
The meeting was a brief affair and lasted just over half an hour. Incumbent president N Ramachandran, who is not seeking re-election this time, did not attend the meeting and hence senior vice-president Virendra Nanavati presided it.
The Returning Officer of the IOA election, SK Mendiratta has already ruled that office bearers and members of the Executive Council elected in 2012 and 2014 can contest for the post of president and secretary general, and Wednesday’s decision at the SGM has given a seal of legitimacy to Batra’s candidature for the top post.
IOA Treasurer Anil Khanna and vice-president Birendra Prasad Baishya have also filed nomination papers for the post of president. Khanna, a former president of All India Tennis Association, had seconded Batra’s nomination for the post of president but decided at the last minute to also jump into the fray himself.
Khanna’s last-minute filing of nomination papers after seconding a candidate for the same post could make him ineligible to stand for the presidency, said a senior IOA Executive Council member on the condition of anonymity.
“The final call (on Khanna’s eligibility for the president’s post) will have to be taken by the Returning Officer and the Election Commission made up of retired
Justices. The scrutiny of the nominations will be done tomorrow and we will decide whether (Khanna) is eligible or not,” the senior official told PTI.
Baishya, who filed nomination papers for the post of president barely minutes before the deadline yesterday, could be the back-up candidate for Batra and he may withdraw later on.
In other decisions, the faction of the Haryana Olympic Association led by P V Rathi was given the recognition. The decision of the IOA Executive Council on November 9 in Chennai to recognise Boxing Federation of India as the sole NSF was also ratified by the General Body.
Tainted official Lalit Bhanot, whose election as IOA Secretary-General in December 2012 was not recognised by the International Olympic Committee, reached the venue after the meeting was over. He was seen having discussions with the officials who attended the meeting.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines