IOA elections set to be postponed

Election panel chief Quraishi resigns

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections are likely to be postponed after the chairman of the three–member ele­ction commission, S Y Quraishi, resigned on Saturday.

Quraishi resigned from the panel  stating that there was a “breakdown of consensus” about holding the elections under the Sports Code of the Government of India. Quraishi’s resignation forced returning Officer Justice V K Bali (Retd) to postpone scrutiny process of nominations for the November 25 elections which was to take place this day. Justice Bali said the scrutiny process would start once the new chairman/member of the election commission was appointed by the IOA.

However, the nominations process is not going to be repeated.  Friday was the last day for filing the nominations.

“We will begin the process as soon as IOA appoints a chairman. But we will like to keep the same gap between the scrutiny of nominations, the withdrawals and the election date.  Keeping this in mind, the elections in all likelihood are going to be postponed,” Bali said.

The IOA also admitted Quraishi’s resignation had created a “very piquant situation.”

The IOA acting president V K Malhota said they from the very beginning had opposed the government sports code and were forced to include the provision on the directive of the Delhi High Court.

Malhotra had conveyed the same in his reply on Friday to the letter from the  International Olympic Committee (IOC) which had raised concerns on the inclusion of  government sports code and  insisted on holding the elections as per the Olympic Charter and IOA constitution.

“I have replied to the IOC communiqué  last night in which I made it clear the IOA’s opposition to the Sports Code but stated that because of the High Court of Delhi directives this provision was included,” Malhotra said.

“It is a very confusing situation.  IOC has made it clear that Olympic Charter be followed and the government wants us to go by government sports code.”

Malhotra said he would  have consultations with other senior members of the IOA and would name the chairman/ member of the Election commission at the earliest.

He said the Sports Code of the Government of India, Delhi High Court directive and IOC communiqué  were at variance and had sparked different interpretations.

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