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IOA factions trying to find consensus on candidates

Posted on Jan 24 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Jan 24 : The Abhay Chautala and the Randhir Singh groups in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) are trying to avoid an election Feb 9 and are working on a consensual list of office bearers as the deadline for filing nomination ends Saturday.

Randhir Singh's group wants that candidates from the 2008 association should be eligible to contest but the Chautala faction feels that those on the 2012 body must get a chance.

Randhir Singh's logic is that the association which was elected in 2012 was declared null and void by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and hence those members stand no chance.

The names of N.R.Ramachandran, who is the president of the World Squash Federation (WSF), and Assam Olympic Association president Bhubaneswar Kalita are doing the rounds for the post of the IOA president.

Ramachandran, who is the brother of BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan, was elected the treasurer during the controversial elections in 2012 while Kalita was the Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Chautala, who is the president of the suspended IOA, has been given the mandate by the members to nominate the office bearers. A final decision will be taken Saturday when Chautala will sit down with his key allies.

Top sources in the IOA told IANS that there won't be any election and all the office bearers would be chosen unanimously.

"An election if out of question. The two parties are now trying to find a common ground so that everyone could be accommodated. But for sure Chautala could either nominate Mr.Ramachandran or Mr.Kalita for the post of IOA president," a top official in IOA told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

For the secretary-general post, it could be a toss-up between Rajiv Mehta and Rakesh Gupta.

Allies close to Randhir Singh, who is the secretary general of the recognised IOA and also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, may also get a place in the newly formed body.

His daughter Sunaina Kumari, who heads the bowling federation, and judo chief Mukesh Kumar reportedly may also be accommodated as joint secretaries.

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