Khanna pulls out of IOA prez race

Anil Khanna on Thursday withdrew his nomination for the post of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president and threw open the gates for FIH president Narinder Batra to be elected the unopposed chief.

Khanna, after seconding Batra's nomination for the IOA presidency, briefly fell apart from him. He then went on to file his nomination for the president to raise tensions within IOA fraternity. Khanna is the Life President of the AITA besides being the president of Asian Tennis Federation and vice-president of International Tennis Federation. He sent out a mail addressing the IOA members on Thursday where he said he didn't want to file the nomination but circumstances forced him to file his name for the post of both the president and senior vice president on the last day.

With Khanna now pulling out. Batra will be the IOA chief, while Rajeev Mehta will be re-elected as secretary general of IOA during its elective Annual General Body Meeting on December 14.

"In the last four years, although sometimes we have faced internal challenging moments, overall the IOA has achieved many milestones under the Presidentship of Shri N Ramachandran and our Secretary General Shri Rajeev Mehta,' Khanna wrote.

"IOA has been one family so far, and the election this year is creating division. I have had an opportunity of discussing with many of you over the last eight days and also with some of our more experienced members who have led the IOA so far. Many do not want a division as they enjoy a warm relationship with both sides and find themselves in a difficult situation to finally decide as to whom to vote for.

"In order to keep the IOA family united and to ensure that common friends are not put in a difficult situation while deciding who to vote for, I have decided to withdraw my candidature as President of IOA from the current election in favour of Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra. I will, however, continue to serve the IOA in whatever capacity the IOA family finally decides."

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