The National Rifle Association of India has barred all state association officials, who sided with Abhay Singh Chautala's faction in the last IOA elections, from voting in its April 6 polls on the directive of ISSF and the International Olympic Committee.
“We do not want to run the risk of being disaffiliated by our international body. So, we had to take this step,” NRAI's secretary Rajeev Bhatia said.
The Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the IOC, in December, for ignoring the world body's warning against holding its elections under the National Sports Code and also due to government interference.
“No individual, who has taken part in the illegal & impugned election of the IOA on 25th November 2012, will be allowed to sit in any capacity on any forum of the NRAI, including its affiliated units or its General Body or Executive,” the NRAI stated after its last governing body meeting on February 1.
“IOA elections were held in contravention of IOC ruling. So, those who were involved in the elections, have been debarred from voting,” another federation official said.
Sources close to the NRAI, however, pointed out that IOC member and former IOA Secretary-General, Randhir Singh, has had a hand in this stance.
“Randhir is close to the current NRAI regime, and he was the one who lost the IOA elections to the other group. So, the NRAI thought that if these state shooting officials are allowed to vote in the April elections, they might favour those who are against the present body,” a source said.
Sources claimed that Randhir, who is India's representative in the IOC, may have convinced the international body to write to the International Shooting Sport Federation against the state officials.
NRAI president Raninder Singh, who is a relative of Randhir, after the GBM, wrote to all state associations, communicating the resolution of the governing body.
Some of the officials who will not be able to vote in the April 6 elections under the latest directive are IOA vice-president Anurag Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab Olympic Association's secretary, Raja Sidhu and Tripura association's Rupak Deb Roy.