JOA election faces constitution chaos

Read more below

  • Published 17.06.09

Ranchi, June 17: Barely a couple of weeks before the Jharkhand Olympic Association (JOA) election, a booklet, claiming to be the association’s constitution, has left office-bearers of its affiliated sports bodies confused.

The latest version — third to be precise — of the constitution does not carry any office-bearer’s signature or declaration. It also has no information as to who the publisher or the printer is.

This has confused the members and office-bearers of state sports associations who protested being treated like “bonded labourers”.

The members also compelled association president R.K. Anand at its executive committee meeting on May 15 to announce that the elections would be held in the last week of June or first week of July. The term of the existing executive committee had expired on April 30. The last JOA elections were held on April 30, 2005, at the annual general meeting held in Bokaro.

But the members are wondering which copy of the JOA constitution would be used for conducting the elections.

The copy available on the JOA website differs from the copy that is in booklet form. There is yet another copy, which contains signatures of the JOA president and secretary-general.

Of these three versions, the latest one contains a controversial clause, numbered as 8(B), which reads: “However, it shall be a mandatory requirement for election to the post of president, one senior vice-president, secretary-general and treasurer that only those members who had held the office in the preceding executive committee of the JOA for four years shall be eligible to contest the elections.”

Significantly, this clause is neither there in the JOA constitution available on the JOA website nor in the earliest one bearing the name of the JOA president and signature of the secretary-general. This clause acquires significance in light of the forthcoming elections.

Effectively, it rules out competition from outside the executive committee, as only those can contest the posts who are already there for the past four years in the panel. However, JOA secretary-general S.M. Hashmi said: “There is only one JOA constitution, which is in printed form.” He said the date of the JOA elections had not yet been decided.