Gopichand likely to contest for BAI's General Secretary post

According to the BAI constitution, only outgoing office bearers or a member of the outgoing Executive Committee are eligible for contesting the election for the General Secretary post and Gopichand does not fulfil this criterion.

Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

India's chief national coach Pullela Gopichand is likely to contest for the post of Secretary-General when the Badminton Association of India (BAI) holds its elections on March 25.

Gopichand, who guided Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu to bronze and silver medals at the Olympics, is expected to file his nomination for the post on Thursday.

"Gopichand is contesting for the general secretary's post and is likely to file for nomination tomorrow," a BAI source, privy to the development, told PTI.

However, according to the BAI constitution, only outgoing office bearers or a member of the outgoing Executive Committee are eligible for contesting the election for the General Secretary post and Gopichand does not fulfil this criterion.

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"The Hon. Gen Secretary shall be elected by the Council amongst its member and provided that only the outgoing office bearers or the members of the outgoing Executive Committee shall be eligible to contest the election for the post of Hon Gen Secretary," the constitution reads.

Candidates can file for nomination from March 9 to 11, while the last date for withdrawing nomination is March 17-19. The Returning officer will prepare the final list of the contenders on March 20. The 48-year-old Gopichand, one of the most successful coaches of the country, is known to wear multiple hats and it has often drawn him into a conflict of interest debate over the years.

Apart from being the chief national coach, Gopichand is also the secretary of Telangana Badminton Association, a member of the selection panel and also runs a private academy in Hyderabad.

Himanta Biswa Sarma is set to be re-elected President while Ajay Singhania, who is the current BAI general secretary, is unlikely to contest the elections for a second term.

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