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Elections may be deferred

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on Monday, appointed former chief justice of Rajasthan High Court, Anil Dev Singh as the new head of its election commission, amidst speculations that elections would not be held as per schedule on November 25.

Justice Singh will succeed SY Quraishi, who resigned as the chairman of the three-member panel on Saturday saying the IOA had backtracked on its promise to hold the elections as per the government sports code. The appointment of Justice Singh was made by IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

The other members of the panel are retired Justice VK Bali, who is the returning officer, and retired Justice KD Kapur. “Despite Justice Singh’s appointment, the elections could be postponed by a few days,” said a top IOA official.

“Since the scrutiny of the nomination papers has been delayed after Quraishi’s resignation, it would be difficult to hold the elections in time,” the official claimed.

Current IOA secretary general Randhir Singh is pitted against Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) supreme Abhay Singh Chautala for the post of president. The fight for secretary general would take place between tainted 2010 Commonwealth Games official Lalit Bhanot and Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) secretary K Murugan.

The IOA has received another letter from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asking for the elections to be conducted exclusively under its constitution currently in force and the rules of the Olympic Charter.

In his reply, Malhotra said: “While IOC is insisting that its Charter and IOA constitution are paramount, the government of India has formulated a sports code and it wants that IOA and National Sports Federations (NSF) should follow that code.

“The sports ministry of the government of India has threatened that in case of the non-compliance of the sports code, it will withdraw its recognition to the concerned NSFs and even the IOA.