Anantharaju is vice-president
Vijay Kumar Malhotra’s long reign as the President of the Archery Association of India (AAI) will continue as the veteran administrator was on Friday re-elected to the post after comprehensively beating his rival BVP Rao, a result which means he will retain the position for an unprecedented 40th year.
Malhotra defeated Rao by a margin of 72-20 in the elections which took place here after three postponements, demonstrating the acting IOA President’s stranglehold in the archery association since he first took up the post in 1973.
Karnataka Olympic Association secretary K Anantharaju was elected one of the vice-presidents. The others are Kailash Murarka, Kiren Rijiju, Sanjiv Paul, Kulbir Singh Kang, MW Nongbri, Ajay Gupta and ML Jadam.
This is for the first time that Malhotra had to contest an election, having being elected unopposed in earlier terms.
Tarlochan Singh was elected as senior vice-president defeating GA Ibposhak, while Virendra Sachdeva defeated Sradhanand Das for the post of treasurer. Earlier, Anil Kamineni (secretary general) and seven joint secretaries belonging to Malhotra’s panel were elected unopposed.
Malhotra was elated with the “overwhelming” verdict in his favour.
“I am humbled by this overwhelming mandate. I have always worked for the improvement and development of archery,” he said.
Malhotra said he was happy with his entire panel and added that AAI will not have any confrontation with the government.
Rao, a former IAS and UN official and now Clean Sports India convener, might have lost the contest but he said he was happy to have at least made the veteran sports administrator fight for the position.
“I may have lost but I consider it as a major victory for me and Clean Sports India because for the first time free and fair elections of AAI were held after 40 years,” he said.
He congratulated Malhotra but said the octogenarian’s re-election to the post is a violation of the guidelines laid by the government.