Chautala, Bhanot in Electoral College

The names of Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot figured in the 167-member Electoral College list which was issued by the returning officer (retd) Justice SN Sapra for Indian Olympic Association’s upcoming elections on February 9.

The filing of the nominations for the elections starts on Friday and ends Sunday. The NSFs have been allowed to nominate three members and the state Olympic bodies two.

Chautala and Bhanot are the two biggest names in the IOA to have come under the charge-framed clause, which bars charged or convicted individuals from contesting the elections.

A source in the IOA said that the Chautala and Bhanot, however, were prepared for the worst as the returning officer might not allow them to cast their votes. Therefore, their names have been carried along with a substitute name in the electoral list. While Chautala, appearing as a third representative of Athletics Federation of India, has a standby in joint-secretary Mumtaz Khan, Bhanot, as second representative for Delhi Olympic Association, has Delhi State Athletics Association secretary R Sunny Joshua.

Meanwhile, Chautala continues to play a prominent role in the IOA and has been given the responsibility of picking candidates for the various posts. The Indian Weightlifting Federation President Birendra Prasad Baishya and Squash Racquet Federation of India chief N Ramachandran have emerged the frontrunners for the post of president while Hockey India Associate vice-president Rajeev Mehta is the favourite for the post of secretary-general.

Candidates will have to give an undertaking along with the nomination papers that on the date of filing of the nominations, they have not been convicted and no charges have been framed against them. Also, those contesting for the posts of president, secretary-general and treasurer will have to give the undertaking that they have complied by the age and tenure guidelines of the amended IOA constitution.

However, uncertainty looms over the candidature of the representatives from the Indian Boxing Federation, which had been suspended by the International Boxing Federation.

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