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Battle lines drawn for BOA polls

Calcutta: Sports Minister Madan Mitra’s efforts to reach for a compromise in the Bengal Olympic Association (BOA) elections fell flat after present secretary Kamalesh Chatterjee refused to withdraw his nomination, on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Chatterjee had set a condition that he would only withdraw if Debashish Banerjee is elected unopposed as the treasurer.

But on Thursday, Kamal Bhandari who is challenging Debashish, was “unreachable” which meant the president-elect Ajit Banerjee’s camp was in no mood to relent. Interestingly, Bhandari was present at a meeting called by Ajit Banerjee. But that was well past the deadline for the withdrawing of nominations.

“The battlelines have been drawn. There will be elections but going by the mood the BOA will have a new set of office bearers,” a semior sports administrator, who was present at the meeting, said. “You never know... The same people who were there in Thursday’s meeting may ditch on Sunday,” he warned. Well that is very unlikely. On Thursday, a Kamalesh loyalist till the other day, Sailen Dapsi withdrew his nomination.

Chatterjee, however, is confident. “We are going for a fight… Even though not for all posts. Madan Mitra requested me to withdraw but it was too late.”