With the court refusing to issue a
stay order, the Badminton Association of India will hold its
elections tomorrow in which former cricketer Mohd Azharuddin
faces the tough challenge of unseating the long-serving V K
Verma as the body’s President.
The Azharuddin camp had approached the sessions court in
Andhra Pradesh’s Rangareddy district seeking a stay on the
election but their plea was rejected after a three-hour
Azharuddin’s candidature has raised quite a furore with
Verma initially claiming that the ex-captain was ‘ineligible’
to contest as he was serving a life ban for alleged
Azharuddin has countered that he has challenged the ban
and since the matter is sub-judice, he is free to challenge
Verma, who has been at the helm for 12 years.
The Sports Ministry too has had its say on the matter. It
accused BAI of not informing about the elections as is
required by norms.
It later appointed an observer, Deepika Kacchal, for the
elections despite vehement opposition from BAI, which says the
Ministry was trying to prop up Azharuddin.
But Verma is confident about getting a fourth term.
"All the delegates coming from across the country for
Sunday’s election are elated and set to elect me unanimously
again," Verma told reporters.
The BAI President said his victory was a mere formality
as he had the backing of nearly all of the 34 voting units.
The BAI President stuck to his decision to seek a
re-election even though it is in violation of the recent
Sports Ministry regulation that fixed the term of federation
presidents to 12 years at the most.
"The government guidelines come into play if you are
seeking financial assistance from it," Verma said, claiming
BAI had now become self-sufficient.
"We have signed contracts with various sponsors to
generate Rs four crore annually. So, we will not be requiring
any financial assistance from the government," he said.