New Delhi: The much-postponed polls of Hockey India was finally completed today but not without a tinge of controversy as the election of Ramesh Nambiar, who has been charge-sheeted by the CBI in multicrore defence scam, as one of the joint secretaries has raised question marks over the fairness of the entire process.
Although the results of the poll, which were postponed four times earlier, were not officially declared because of Supreme Court directive, it is learnt that veteran Vidya Stokes beat former India captain Pargat Singh for the President`s post while her close ally Narinder Batra defeated Gunjam Haider of Hockey Arunachal for the Secretary General`s position.
Stokes, who is the interim HI President, won the straight contest against Pargat by a big margin of 41-21 while Batra defeated Haider 41-18.
Another candidate from Stokes` faction, Mustaq Ahmed became the HI treasurer, defeating Haider with a margin of 45-17.
However, what generated controversy was the unopposed election of Nambiar as one of the joint secretaries out of the four posts.
Nambiar, an Air India General Manager, was named in the CBI chargesheet in the Ordnance Factory Board scam, in which he, former OFB chairman Sudipta Ghosh and several others were arrested.
Nambiar and others spent several weeks in jail before they were granted bail.
Asked how a CBI chargsheeted person can be elected as a HI office-bearer, Batra said, "Mr Nambiar comes from Air India. Air India has selected him to reprsent the institutional board in the elections.
"India is a democratic country so he has every right to contest. To add to it, he has still not been proved guilty so we have no right to prosecute him."
According to details obtained from sources, a total of 62 voters out of 66 were present during today`s elections and four abstained from voting.
Altogether 31 states are affiliated to HI but two states have no voting power while the four insitutional boards were represented by a single voter.
HI, however, did not make the results public as the Supreme Court, while vacating the Delhi and Bombay High Court`s stay order, made it clear that hockey federation cannot implement the outcome of the elections till the next hearing before the apex court on August 19.