Archery Association of India on Wednesday embroiled itself in yet another controversy with acting president Sunil Sharma issuing notice of elections to be held on May 26 but secretary Maha Singh rejecting it, terming it “blatantly illegal” and contempt of Supreme Court order.
Sharma was elevated to the top post on May 4 to start the process for fresh polls after the Supreme Court’s order to set aside the national body’s election last year and subsequent resignation of its president BVP Rao.
Sharma, who is believed to be from ex-president VK Malhotra faction, has sent an election notice without any meeting of the Committee of Administrators which was allowed by the SC to function till a newly elected body takes charge.
“The elections of office bearers of the Archery Association of India will be held on 26th May at the office of the Returning Officer at the Indian Olympic Association, New Delhi,” Sharma wrote in the election notice to member associations, a copy of which is in possession with PTI.
The five-page notice also mentions the schedule of the election process, including the date for filing of nomination (May 13-15), last date for withdrawal of nomination (May 20) along with the respective forms.
But secretary Maha Singh has shot off a mail to all the members terming the notice illegal.
“I am shocked to read election notice of AAI few hours ago signed by Sunil Sharma. This is blatantly illegal. According to AAI constitution or any constitution of any association, it is the secretary of the association who issues the notice on the request of the president,” Singh wrote in his mail to the members.
“So the election notice signed by Sunil Sharma and issued by Gunjan Abrol is illegal. Please do not act on this illegal notice and put AAI in problem again. Now that (there is) Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators, I will issue any notice only on the decision of the Committee of Administrators,” Singh wrote.
He said World Archery (international federation) has been threatening to suspend India and the members should not “sacrifice the interest of our archers for shortsighted gains of vested interested of people like VK Malhotra.”
“All this game is played by Malhotra in connivance with IOA president Narendra Batra who tried to suspend AAI when Mr Rao was elected. It is Mr Rao who went to Lausanne and persuaded World Archery not to suspend India,” the letter said.
When contacted, acting president Sharma said: “I will respond on Thursday.”
The 10-member CoA is learnt to have significant number of Rao supporters.
“I have called a meeting of CoA on May 10 in Chandigarh with the consent of Sharma where we will discuss and decide on holding elections strictly according to the Honourable Supreme Court decision. We will decide whether there would be any unanimous choice or we will go for vote,” Singh said.