Under-fire president N Ramachandran will have to take a call on his candidature by November 29 -- the last date of filing nominations for the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections on December 14. The association set into motion the process of election of its new office bearers for a four-year term with the formal notification of its polls during its Annual General Body Meeting here. The notification was issued yesterday by Secretary General Rajeev Mehta after a fierce tussle for power between a faction led by him and the other by incumbent president Ramachandran, who had wanted to hold the elective AGM in Chennai but had to eat a humble pie. Ramachandran had to accept the decision of a big majority of the Executive Council, which decided on Novemeber 7 (in New Delhi) and November 9 (in Chennai) to shift the AGM and the elections to the national capital. "Election of the office bearers and the Executive Council of the IOA for a term of four years starting from the date of declaration of the result of the elections by the Returning Officer," Mehta was quoted in the notification. "This is in continuation of the meeting notice dated October 23, 2017 issued for the AGM of the IOA to be held on 14th December, 2017. The Emergent Executive Council and the Executive Council meetings of the IOA held on November 7th and 9th respectively had decided to shift the venue of the AGM to Delhi," Mehta further stated. Elections will be held for one post each of the president, secretary-general, treasurer and senior vice president, eight vice presidents, six joint secretaries, 10 other Executive Council members and one representative for the Athlete Commission. The elections will be held through secret ballot and will be declared on the same day. The elctoral college will comprise of three representatives -- with a value of one vote each -- of each of the National Sports Federations, two representatives -- with a value of one vote each -- of each of the state Olympic associations, one representative -- with a value of one vote each -- of each of the Union Territory Olympic Associations, member (s) of the International Olympic Committee in India with a value of one vote each and two representatives of the Athletes Commission with a value of one vote each. The voting units have been asked to send to the IOA the names of their representatives 20 days before the AGM. S K Mendiratta, advisor to the Election Commission of India has been appointed as the Returning Officer for the elections.
The Election Commission comprises of retired justices RS Sodhi (chairman), MR Calla and SM Sapra. They will be assisted for former IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh who is also an honorary member of the IOC and current vice president G S Mander. An observer each from the IOC, Olympic Council of Asia and the government is likely to be present during the elections. The electoral college will be published by the RO on November 26 and the last date of submission of nomination of candidates will be on November 29. Scrutiny of the nominations will be held on December 4 and candidates can withdraw their names till December 7. The final list of contestants will be notified on December 8. Ramachandran, now 69, has said that he will take a call whether to contest for the post of president very soon. Under the Sports Code which the IOA has said will follow in the elections, the age cap for the office bearers (but not for other members of the executive council) is 70. Ramachandran had taken over as president in the elections held in February 2014 which saw India coming out of a 14-month suspension imposed by the IOC for electing charge-framed persons as office bearers.
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