IOA polls on November 25

Apex body again rejects Ministry guidelines on age and tenure

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday announced that it will hold its election on November 25.

Before that a general body meeting has been called on October 18 to begin the electoral process. This was decided at the Executive Board meeting of the IOA here on Monday.

The current term of office will come to an end on October 10 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already written a letter to the IOA last week asking it to declare the poll date and seeking clarity on its electorate.

The IOC also insisted for the presence of an international observer during the election, which drew a sharp reaction from the IOA acting-president VK Malholtra. IOA, however, looked to have softened his stand on the matter on Monday.
“We derive our strength from IOC, we are not in conflict with them.

The IOC had asked for two things. First,  the date of elections and the other to ensure that National Sports Federations (NSF), whose disciplines are part of the Olympic Games, get the majority in the electoral college,” Malhotra said.

“The executive board has decided to set up a standing committee to see that it is done.”“It does not matter if we are having an IOC observer. However, we did write to the IOC asking why we are being singled out to have an international observer. "
“We will be appointing a returning officer who will be either a retired High Court or a Supreme Court judge,” he said.

Malhotra said the IOA does not accept the age and tenure guidelines of the Sports Ministry. The hearing of their case challenging the government guidelines is on October 15.

"The sports ministry guidelines do not apply to IOA. It was not passed by the cabinet, so it is not a law. We have the support of IOC which is against the government interference and can even derecognise us. We are waiting for the hearing and that is why we have scheduled our General Body Meeting after October 15,” he said.

Malhotra said they will not hesitate to go to the Supreme Court if the High Court decision goes against them.

Chautala to contest

The newly elected Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) chairman Abhay Singh Chautala made it clear he will be running for the post of IOA president.
The IABF in its elections created a new post of chairman for Chautala after he completed three terms as its president.

“I am ready to take up the responsibility if the General Assembly asks me to. I will not like to disappoint my well wishers,” said Chautala.  He said the IABF has not violated any rules in appointing him the chairman. “IABF has acted within its right. I don’t think sports ministry should have any problem."

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