After the count, IABF ready for fresh election
The Indian Boxing Federation (IABF) Friday said its chairman and president were willing to quit their posts to pave the way for a fresh election if it would satisfy the international federation and the sports ministry in lifting the suspension they imposed on the national body.
Both the world body AIBA and the Indian ministry found the Sep 23 election process flawed and smelt a possible manipulation. They, therefore suspended the IABF provisionally pending fresh elections.
They saw a streak of nepotism in young Rajasthan legislator Abhishek Matoria stepping into the shoes of his brother-in-law Abhay Singh Chautala, who got himself elevated creating the new post of chairman.
Chautala, however, maintained that no rules were flouted as the election was conducted by retired judges and was overseen by government observers.
"The election was held in the presence of retired judges and government observers. But, if the AIBA and the government feel the process was manipulated, we are ready for a re-election. I am ready to quit the post of chairman. AIBA and the government can send their observers and fix a fresh date," said Chautala.
Echoing more or less the same sentiments, Matoria said the IABF had submitted a detailed report on the election to the AIBA.
"Our main concern is the suspension slapped by the AIBA. If they lift it, then the government will also fall in line. On Nov 24, we have submitted a detailed report to the AIBA on our election process. But if they are not convinced we can go for a fresh election," he said.
The government has given the IABF 15 days to hold fresh elections and till then their recognition stands suspended.
Sports minister Jitendra Singh said the whole election process was flawed.
"The publication of the electoral roll was flawed because it was not possible for the electoral rolls to be dispatched to members by post a day prior to the last date for filing of nominations and merely publishing on the website is not considered sufficient notice or information to all members," said Singh.
"Members were not given sufficient time to file nominations as the gap between the finalisation of the electoral rolls and the filing of nomination was too short to allow people to travel large distances and file nominations personally.
"Nominations of candidates were taken on the floor of the House on a date which was after the last date of nomination and this is not permissible," he said.
AIBA feels that Chautala, who has been the IABF president for three terms, has manipulated the election.
"Further to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Bureau has decided today 6 December 2012 to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF)," the AIBA said in a statement.
"This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learned about possible manipulation of the recent IABF's election. AIBA will now investigate this election and especially a potential political link between IOA president, as former Chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election," the statement added.