Verma`s re-election slap on Sports Ministry`s face: Malhotra

New Delhi: Describing the re-election of V K
Verma as Badminton Association of India`s President a slap on
the Sports Ministry`s face, Archery Association chief V K
Malhotra on Sunday said the incumbent triumphed despite desperate
bids to impose the "draconian" tenure-limitation guidelines.

Verma has been at the helm in BAI for 12 years -- the
maximum that a National Sports Federation head is allowed
under the Sports Ministry`s new guidelines, which have been
opposed by the NSFs and the Indian Olympic Association.

Verma was re-elected for a fourth term in Chennai after
his challenger former cricketer Mohd Azharuddin, who was
reportedly supported by the Sports Ministry, backed out at the
last minute.

Malhotra congratulated Verma.

"The government tried everything to prop up Azhar and
used all their machinery but eventually had to lick dirt and
it only shows that the new tenure limitation guidelines are
draconian," Malhotra told reporters.

"Office-bearers who have delivered for their associations
will be elected on the merit of their work," he said.

Malhotra lashed out at the Ministry for trying to
interfere in NSFs functioning.

"These guidelines are an attempt to infringe on the
autonomy of national federations and it will not be allowed to

"I congratulate all the units of the BAI for electing Mr
Verma and it is a resounding slap on the government`s face
which had gone out of the way to unseat Mr Verma. Even the
courts did not support their move and dismissed Azhar`s plea
for a stay on the elections," he said.


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