Union minister Arjun Munda was on Saturday elected as president of the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI) in its much-delayed elections, which were held here smoothly in the presence of three observers.
Enjoying the support of former AAI President Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Munda had a smooth sailing as he beat his rival BVP Rao by a margin of 34-18 votes.
Munda’s entire panel secured majority share of votes and were elected for a full tenure of four years.
A total of 31 state associations were part of the AAI but only 26 states -- each having a share of two votes -- casted their votes. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir were not part of the electoral college.
There were a total of 52 votes to elect the 19-member executive committee consisting of president, secretary general, senior vice-president, eight vice-presidents, seven joint-secretaries and one treasurer.
A three-time Jharkhand Chief Minister, the 51-year-old Munda is a hugely popular tribal leader who also runs an archery academy which was instrumental in the rise of former world number one Deepika Kumari.
“The faith placed in my team for the next four years is overwhelming and gives us strength with a sense of responsibility at the same time to work vigorously for fulfilling the aspirations of the association and to make the country a superpower in the world map,” Munda said in a statement.
The elections were held as per the Delhi High Court order. The two factions clashed for the first time in the presence of an World Archery (WA) observer in Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol. The WA Asia region vice-president Chapol will now submit its report based on which the the world body will take a call on conditional lifting of the suspension.
Munda further said that the priority now would be to lift the suspension and provide all facilities to the archers ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in six months’ time.
“Lifting ban of the World Archery, restoring the recognition status of the Association with the Ministry of Sports, setting up more more archery academics, streamlining the activities of the Association, generating funds through sponsorships etc are in our priority list,” Munda said.
At present, India has already secured a team quota in men’s and one individual quota in women’s section.
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