International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Narinder Batra was on Thursday elected unopposed as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), while Rajeev Mehta was re-elected secretary general for a four-year term.
The 59-year-old Batra, thus, became one of the few sports administrators to head a national Olympic committee while heading an important international sports federation.
Batra’s election to the top post was a mere formality after Asian Tennis Federation president Anil Khanna withdrew from the race last week.
Khanna, who wrote a letter to the IOA election commission, informing his decision to withdraw from the contest, supported Batra for the president’s post in its Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday.
Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Birendra Baishya was also in the fray initially for the President’s post but eventually pulled out of the race.
However, some amount of uncertainty hangs over the elections after the Delhi High Court, while refusing to interfere with the process, clarified that the results will be subject to the final outcome of an application pending before it.
The High Court’s directive came after advocate and sports activist Rahul Mehra sought an interim stay on the election on the grounds that it was being held in violation of the sports code.