KAA elections postponed

KAA elections postponed

Just two days after the nominations were filed, the Karnataka Athletics Association’s elections were put off indefinitely due to administrational lapses.

The elections, to be held at the Annual General Body Meeting on July 1, had to be put off after returning officer Ashwathaiah refused to perform his duties on Friday, alleging “intereference” in his work. In a letter to KAA secretary Chandrashekar Rai, the returning officer -- who holds the right to scrutinise the nominations and conduct polls -- also said that he would not go ahead with any procedure related to the elections due to lack of transparency at the athletics body.

Ashwathaiah has blamed Kolar District Athletic Association vice-president R Satyanarayana for his move.

Addressing the media on Saturday, Rai said that the next course of action will be taken only after an executive member meeting.

“"Elections cannot happen now. At such a short notice, nobody will accept to be a returning officer. We office bearers now need to decide and call for an executive committee meeting and then decide the next course of action," he said.

Rai said that according to the National Sports Code –– which says that office bearers can hold their respective posts for four years –– the current management’s tenure lasts till this October and technically it was not correct to call for elections.

“Our term is till October. Though the last election in 2013 was held under the previous by-laws, we passed the new by-laws in 2015 and our term is four years and not three. But we called for the elections only under pressure. There was pressure from various quarters asking the government to stop funds. There was pressure from Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to sort out the issue. So we were fed up of all this and decided to call for elections,” Rai explained.

Disappointed with the developments, former India international Ashwini Nachappa, who is contesting for the post of president and secretary, blamed Rai for not performing his duties.
“If there were procedural lapses, it was Mr Rai's responsibility to sort it out. Why did they go ahead with the nomination process then? Satyanarayana has no right to conduct any business here. On the day when Ashwathaiah visited the KAA, Satyanarayana didn’t allow Rai to speak. He insulted Ashwathaiah. Right now, none of us is authorised to take the next course of action. I have written to the president (G Parameshwara) again today morning (informing him of the developments),” she said.

Rai defended Satyanarayana, saying he was a voter and he had the right to voice his opinion.

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