New Delhi: One year after he took over as the Indian Boxing Federation`s President, which was followed by its international suspension, Abhishek Matoria`s election for the top post has been challenged by the very body he claimed to represent in the controversial polls.
On September 23, 2012, when the Indian Boxing Federation held its polls, which were later described as possibly manipulated by the International Boxing Association, to vote for a new set of office-bearers, Matoria`s name was presented to the house by outgoing
President Abhey Singh Chautala.
The 30-year-old Matoria, who happened to be Chautala`s brother-in-law, is a BJP MLA from Rajasthan`s Nohar constituency.
He was presented to the IBF house as a member of the Rajasthan Boxing Association but the same body has disowned him, claiming that Matoria was not a member of the RBA at the time of the elections.
In a letter to the International Boxing Association, RBA President Dalpat Singh Arya has stated that Matoria was not a member of the RBA on the date of election, which is a pre-requisite for anybody to contest for the IBF top post.
"Further, his name was not on the electoral rolls and voters` list prepared by the Indian Boxing Federation and put up on the IBF website and circulated prior to September 23, 2012," Arya alleged in the certificate, which has also been sent to the International Boxing Association.
Asked what took him so long to come up with the revelation, Arya told PTI, "When Mr Matoria was presented to the house, we were not told that he was being nominated on behalf of the Rajasthan Boxing Association."
"Even if he was a member, he had to be authorised by us to be even present at the election but we never authorised him to be there, let alone contest as a representative of Rajasthan.
"After that, the IBF was suspended, we thought that now that AIBA has intervened, things will be corrected but after one year nothing seems to be happening, therefore we have decided to make it clear that Mr Matoria is not a member of the Rajasthan Boxing Association."
Matoria, on his part, said that he is a member of the district association of Hanumangarh, which makes him a member of the state body as well.
"I am a member of the Hanumangarh district boxing association. This automatically makes me a member of the state body. There is no complication on that front. I still remain a member of that association so I was well within my right to contest the elections," Matoria said in his defence.
The turmoil in the IBF is getting deeper by the day with 17 out of the 35 states and units, which comprise the Indian body, opposing the present set of office-bearers and even holding an informal conclave to discuss a way forward recently.
The IBF was suspended last year by the AIBA and in its most latest missive, the world governing body has threatened to bar Indian boxers and coaches as well if the IBF fails to hold a re-election latest by December first week.