B V P Rao Elected Archery Association President
Sports (File Image)

New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) B V P Rao was Saturday elected president of the Archery Association of India in the controversial polls held here under a High Court-appointed administrator.

Rao, who represented Archery Association of Assam, beat Rupak Debroy of Tripura by 49 votes to 36 in the contest for the president's post at the elections held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

A retired IAS office of Assam cadre, Rao earlier served as vice president of the archery association of the northeastern state. He was also earlier associated with Sports Authority of India in various capacities. For the last four years, he served as an Advisor to Telengana government before resigning to contest for the AAI top job.

He had also fought elections unsuccessfully against Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who served as AAI President for 40 years from 1973 to 2012, when it was de-recognised by the government for not following the sports code.

Maha Singh was elected as secretary while D K Vidyarthi won the contest for treasurer. Sunil Sharma was elected senior vice-president while Rajendra Singh Tomar and Purnima Mahato will be the vice presidents.

No observer from the Indian Olympic Association and Sports Ministry was present during the much-delayed elections, which were held under controversial circumstances as both bodies wanted the polls to be postponed.

But the Delhi High Court-appointed administrator and returning officer S Y Quraishi was adamant on conducting the polls on Saturday as per a Supreme Court's directive.

The Sports Ministry, IOA and the current interim office bearers of AAI had objected to certain clauses in the amended constitution submitted by Quraishi, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Their objections are based on the ground that the amended constitution, in parts, did not tally with the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.

Quraishi's amended constitution focusses on the revised draft of the sports code and Justice Lodha's recommendations for the BCCI.

After his election to the top job, Rao said he would work hard to help Indian archers win the elusive Olympic medal.

"I will focus the management of archery in the country which suffered a lot for the last several years," he said.

Rao had announced a seven-point action before the elections.

IOA officials refused to comment on the elections of the AAI as they were held under the supervision of the court.

After the elections, several Olympian and international archers such as Dola Banerjee, Limba Ram, Purnima Mahato, Chekrovolu Swuro and Bheigyabati Chanu, under the banner of Archers Commission of India, wrote a letter to Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, requesting to grant recognition to AAI.

"We would like to inform you that today is a historic day in the 45 years of existence of the AAI as the elections were conducted in a democratic way. This election will be a landmark as sportspersons like us got the right to vote in a sports association to choose its leaders," the letter said.

"Now that these elections are held according to Sports Code, you are requested to to grant recognition so that the sport of archery will not suffer any more," it added.

The former archers also requested the minister for a meeting to discuss issues relating to the establishment of Archers Commission of India.

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