Octogenarian BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra was re-elected to the post of the president of the Archery Association of India (AAI) for an unprecedented 40th year. Swatting aside his opponent BVP Rao by an overwhelming margin of 72-20 in the elections held here, Malhotra has openly defied the Sports Ministry’s diktat on age and tenure issue. Malhotra has been at the helm of the AAI since 1973.
This time, the only difference for Malhotra was that his group faced contest from the Clean Sports India convener Rao and his associates.
With the electoral college of 102 members, declared by returning officer Justice (Retd) JD Kapoor under Delhi High Court orders, Malhotra’s group faced no difficulty in completing the formalities as another veteran Tarlochan Singh was elected as senior vice-president defeating GA Ibposhak. Virendra Sachdeva, in the mean time, beat Sradhanand Das for the post of treasurer.
Earlier, Anil Kaminenio of Andhra Pradesh was declared unopposed for the post of secretary general along with seven joint secretaries— all from the Malhotra group. The eight vice-presidents elected are Kailash Murarka, Kiren Rijiju, Sanjiv Paul, Anantharaju, Kulbir Singh Kang, MW Nongbri, Ajay Gupta and ML Jadam.
Though Malhotra talked about the new sports minister Jitendra Singh’s non-confrontational approach and promised to take Indian archery to new heights, sports secretary PK Deb reacted strongly to the election.“The ministry is firm on the new sports code and an action would be initiated as per the provisions in the act,” Deb told DNA on Friday.
DNA had reported that the ministry would de-recognise the AAI in case they defy the sports code.