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NRAI bars three officials from elections

Source: PTI
February 11, 2013 18:57 IST
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The National Rifle Association of India barred its three officials, who occupy key positions in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), from taking part in its elections on April 6, a few days after giving affiliation to Meghalaya and Mizoram.

The three officials are IOA vice-president Anurag Thakur, joint secretary Raja K Sidhu and executive committee member Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi.

Apart from being the joint secretary of BCCI and president of Himachal Pradesh's cricket body, Thakur also holds important positions in shooting and Olympic associations.

Punjab Olympic Association's Sidhu is the secretary-general of the state shooting body, while Sodhi is the vice-president.

Rupak Deb Roy, secretary of Tripura Olympic Association, is also an office bearer of the state shooting body.

NRAI president Raninder Singh said he has written to all its affiliated units to bar those officials, who took part in the elections of the IOA, which has been de-recognised by the IOC over rigged elections last December.

The state units have been granted 15 days' time to act against the members, who favoured Abhay Singh Chautala in the IOA elections.

"The elected IOA body is an illegal entity. The IOC has clearly said that it recognises the IOA that was headed by president Vijay Kumar Malhotra and secretary-general Randhir Singh.

"We have sent a directive to all our affiliated units that they should stay away from all the officials who took part in the illegal IOA elections," Raninder said.

He said Punjab is the first state to take action against its officials as Gurbir Singh Sandhu, president of Punjab's shooting body has already suspended Sidhu and Sodhi.

Raninder, son of former Punjab chief minister Amrinder Singh, said steps are being taken to ensure that the careers of the Indian shooters are not jeopardised.

"The IOA has been suspended by the IOC. We were the only association to boycott the IOA elections. Our affiliation to our international body ISSF hasn't been affected. There will be no double standards and we will follow the directives of the ISSF," said Raninder.

The NRAI president said the Returning Officer, retired Judge Mehtab Singh Gill has been given the option to conduct the elections as per the national sports code or any other process he feels suitable.

"Rule 14 of the NRAI constitution clearly states that the chairman/returning officer has the authority to select the method for the conduct of the elections. We have forwarded Mr. Gill the advisory by the sports ministry regarding the sports code. It is up to the Returning Officer to decide how he conducts the elections," said Raninder.

The NRAI president also said that the Indian shooters will be participating in the World Cup, as also other ISSF events, under the tricolour.

Meanwhile, sources close to the NRAI claimed that it had given affiliation to the two states to gain benefits in the elections.

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