83-year old Stokes to lead Hockey India
New Delhi: Armed with a Supreme Court ruling, Hockey India held its much-awaited elections, postponed four times in the past for various reasons. The results scored more for the politicians than hockey players as former Indian Women`s Hockey Federation president and interim HI chief Vidya Stokes was elected president with 41 votes while ex-Olympian Pargat Singh secured just 21 votes.
The 83-year-old Stokes was fighting the elections after defying government`s age limitation guidelines.
Stokes` close ally Narinder Batra also defeated Gunjam Haider of Hockey Arunachal 41-18 for the Secretary General`s post.
Another candidate from Stokes` faction, Mustaq Ahmed won the election for treasurer`s post after defeating Haider with a margin of 45-17.
The Bombay High Court had also stayed the polls for three weeks on a petition filed by Mumbai Hockey Association.
The Delhi High Court had earlier directed the government to dissociate itself from the HI elections as it is a private body and held that the IHF is the sole recognised body for the sport in the country.
It had also asked the government to withdraw its observer appointed to monitor the HI election.
The High Court had on May 21 set aside the decision of the government and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to de-recognise the IHF.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had threatened to bar India from participating in international tournaments, including next month`s women World Cup in Rosario, Argentina.