A host of current and former sportspersons, including Olympic medallists P V Sindhu, Gagan Narang and Sakshi Malik, will be among 77 voters for the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections on December 10.
Olympic medallists Yogeshwar Dutt and M M Somaya will also be voting in the polls.
Out of the 77 members, 39 are female and 38 are male.
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While Yogeshwar and Somaya were picked by the new Athletes Commission on Saturday as part of eight sportspersons of outstanding merit (SOM), Sakshi was nominated by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Sindhu and Narang were nominated by the Athletes Commission.
In the 77-member electoral college notified by returning officer Umesh Sinha on Monday, there were 66 members from 33 National Sports Federations which have nominated one male and one female each, eight SOMs (four male and four female), two from the Athletes Commission (one male and one female) and member of International Olympic Committee in India, Nita Ambani.
The controversy-ridden IOA achieved a major milestone as more women members will vote for its elections, to be held under the new constitution prepared by the SC-appointed former apex court judge L Nageswara Rao. The IOA adopted the new constitution on November 10 after getting approval from the IOC.
In another development, nearly 25 per cent of the members in the 77-strong electoral college are either current or former players.
Under the new constitution the General Assembly of the IOA shall have equal number of male and female voting right members.
Besides the two Athletes Commission members and eight SOMs, some other NSFs have also nominated former sportspersons in the electoral college. The Luge Federation of India is represented by six-time Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan and Jahnavi Rawat, also an athlete.
Keshavan is also a member of the IOA Athletes Commission. The 10-member Athletes Commission was elected on November 14.
“I don’t see any problem here (being member of IOA AC and electoral college member). As far as I understand, there is no conflict of interest on my part. It is not that I am running for an office, I am just having a voting right," Keshavan told PTI.
“Also, it’s not a case of me having a double vote. Had there be an issue (of conflict of interest), the returning officer would have rejected my name from the electoral college." The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has sent its president and former goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey and ex women’s national team player Thongam Tababi Devi as its members in the electoral college.
Actor and former rugby player — as well as national federation president — Rahul Bose is one of the two nominees from the sport’s national federation, while Olympian sprinter and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla is representing his organisation.
Outgoing Secretary General Rajeev Mehta is representing the Fencing Association of India.
More than 15 NSFs have sent their presidents as one of the two voters.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (badminton), Arjun Munda (archery), Ajay Singh (boxing), Brij Bhushan Sharan (wrestling), Sahdev Yadav (weightlifting), Bhupender Singh Bajwa (wushu), Anil Jain (tennis), Rajlaxmi Singh Deo (rowing), Vagish Pathak (netball), Prashant Kushwaha (kayaking and canoeing), Sudhir Mital (gymnastics), Parminder Singh Dhindsa (cycling), Ravi Bengani (bowling) and K Govindaraj (basketball) are among the heads of NSFs in the electoral college.
In the case of the national federations of table tennis, kabaddi and judo, the nominations made by the court-appointed administrators were accepted. Nominations were not accepted for billiards and snooker and yachting as they were associate members of the IOA without voting right.
From among the two factions of handball federation, the nomination sent by the one recognised by the government — whose president is Digvijay Chautala — was accepted. In the case of taekwondo, the nominations of both factions were rejected.
The other six SOMs are PT Usha (athletics), Suma Shirur (shooting), Rohit Rajpal (tennis), Aparna Popat (badminton), Akhil Kumar (boxing) and Dola Banerjee (archery).
Under the new constitution, the electoral college is made up of only the members from the NSFs whose sport are included in the programme of Olympics or Asian Games or Commonwealth Games.
The IOA polls will be held to elect one president, one senior vice-president, two vice-presidents (one male and one female), one treasurer, two joint secretaries (one male and one female), six other Executive Council members, out of which two (one male and one female) shall be from the elected SOMs.
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Two members of the Executive Council (one male and one female) will be the Athletes’ Commission representatives.
Candidates for the various posts can file their nominations in person from November 25 to 27. The final list of candidates will be displayed on December 4. The results will be declared on the same day of elections — December 10.
In the earlier elections of the IOA, each NSF would nominate three representatives with one vote each. The state Olympic bodies were stripped off their voting rights under the new constitution.
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