“We don’t follow government guidelines. Do whatever you can.” This is the message veteran sports administrator and acting Indian Olympic Association president VK Malhotra is adamant to send across to the sports ministry by deciding to contest yet another election of Archery Association of India’s (AAI) top post.
The sports ministry, on the other hand, has clearly indicated that if Archery Association of India fails to follow the National Sports Code on the matter of age and tenure, then it faces the prospect of de-recognition. However, that has failed to alter Malhotra’s stance. He has been at the helm of AAI since 1973.
As things stand, Malhotra is set to be re-elected on Friday even though he has a challenger this time. Assam association vice-president BVP Rao has filed nominations for the top post. Rao’s group has also fielded his two candidates for the posts of senior vice-president and treasurer.
Andhra Pradesh official Anil Kamineni has already been elected unopposed as secretary general. Ibopishak Singh, Manipur’s secretary, will contest against veteran IOA’s vice-president and Suresh Kalmadi’s right-hand man Trilochan Singh, while Sadhananda Das of Orissa will take on Delhi’s Virendra Sachdeva for the post of treasurer.
The electoral college has 102 members with each state unit getting three votes and each organisation/sports boards one vote each. DNA has learnt that apart from the BJP-run state governments, even a non-BJP and non-Congress state government has made an offer of help to AAI.