Union minister Arjun Munda was on Saturday elected President of the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI).
Enjoying the support of former AAI President Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Munda had a smooth sailing as he beat his rival BVP Rao by a margin of 34-18 votes.
Elections to the faction-ridden were held as per the Delhi High Court order and were held in the presence of World Archery (WA) observer Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol. The WA Asia region Vice-President Chapol will now submit his report based on which the the world body will take a call on conditional lifting of the suspension.
Rao was elected AAI President on December 22, 2018, bringing an end to the era of Malhotra, who served as head of the national body for 40 years from 1973 to 2012 before being de-recognised by the government.
But Rao had to quit after the Supreme Court gave a ruling for fresh elections and set aside the AAI Constitution as amended by Delhi High Court-appointed administrator S Y Quraishi.
The two groups led by Munda and Rao then in June last year elected themselves as Presidents, in two separate elections held simultaneously in New Delhi and Chandigarh, leading to AAI’s suspension by World Archery.
In Saturday’s election, Munda’s entire panel secured majority share of votes and were elected for a full tenure of four years.
Pramod Chandurkar of Maharashtra defeated Maha Singh of Chandigarh 31-21, while captain Abhimanyu Sharma (Haryana) became the senior vice-president with a 32-20 win over G A Ibopishak Sharma (Manipur).
Rajendar Singh Tomar of Uttaranchal defeated Samikhya Nanda Das of Odisha 34-18 for the post of Treasurer.
A total of 31 state associations were part of the AAI but only 26 states – each having a share of two votes – cast their votes. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir were not part of the electoral college.
A three-time Jharkhand Chief Minister, the 51-year-old Munda said his priority would be to lift the suspension and provide all facilities to the archers ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in six months’ time.
“Lifting ban of the World Archery, restoring the recognition status of the Association with the Ministry of Sports, setting up more more archery academics, streamlining the activities of the Association, generating funds through sponsorships etc are in our priority list,” Munda said in a statement.
At present, India has already secured a team quota in men’s and one individual quota in women’s section.
“Securing full quota places in women category for Tokyo Olympics, preparing Indian team for Olympics, international events providing all necessary facilities are our priorities,” he added.
President: Arjun Munda (Jharkhand)
Secretary General: Pramod Chandurkar (Maharashtra)
Senior Vice-President: Capt Abhimanyu Sindhu (Haryana)
Vice-Presidents: Amarinder Singh (Chandigarh), Rupak Debroy (Tripura), K K Jadam (Rajasthan), Rupesh Kar (Bengal), Chetan Kavleka (Goa), Kailash Murarka (Chhattisgarh), Paia Banylla War Nongbri (Meghalaya), D K Vidyarthi (MP)
Joint Secretary: Dinesh Bhil (Gujarat), K B Gurung (Sikkim), Ram Niwas Hooda (Haryana), Sumanta Mohanty (Jharkhand), Komjum Ribba (Arunachal), Joris Paulose Ummacheril (Kerala) and Shihan Hussaini (TN).
Treasurer: Rajendar Singh Tomar (Uttaranchal).