The chief of International Hockey Federation, Narinder Batra was elected as the President of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) at its Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi on 14 December 2017.
The 60-year-old Batra received 143 votes out of the total 160, winning the polls with an overwhelming majority. His opponent Anil Khanna on the other hand just managed to scramble 13 votes.
The voting was conducted under the supervision of a three-member Election Commission comprising retired High Court justices. S K Mendiratta, a legal advisor to the Election Commission of India, was the returning officer.
With the win, Batra would hold the post for a term of four years from 2018 till 2022. He would be succeeding Narayana Ramachandran, who served at the post from 9 February 2014 to 14 December 2017.
Batra’s win was more or less certain as his opponent Khanna, the former President of All India Tennis Association, had announced his withdrawal from the polls on 7 December.
However, the elections were still conducted for the Presidential post as Khanna sent the withdrawal letter to the IOA-appointed Election Commission after the stipulated deadline, which was 3 December.
Handball Federation of India's Anandeshwar Pandey was elected as the treasurer of the IOA, after he defeated Rakesh Gupta by 113 to 37 votes.
The association's current Secretary General Rajeev Mehta was re-elected for a second term without any contest as he was the lone candidate for the post.
RK Anand was elected as the Senior Vice President of the association, after defeating his opponent - Kabaddi federation's Janardhan Gahlot, by 96 votes to 35.
Speaking post his win, Batra said that he would take a proposal to the government to host the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asian Games and 2026 Commonwealth Games. He said that the final decision on hosting the games, however, will depend on the government, as they will sanction the funds. He also added that the IOA hopes to work with the government in a conducive atmosphere.
The election results will, however, be subject to the final decision of the Delhi High Court, which had recently refused to order a stay on the polls following a petition filed by lawyer Rahul Mehra, who demanded the election to be cancelled.
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