Himanta Biswa Sarma frontrunner for BAI president’s post

A BAI insider said Himanta Biswa Sarma has already been selected to replace Akhilesh Das Gupta by senior members of the association.

Sarma is Assam’s health minister and one of the most influential BJP leaders from North-East.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Assam Badminton Association president Himanta Biswa Sarma has emerged as the frontrunner for the post of Badminton Association of India (BAI) president after the sudden demise of Akhilesh Das Gupta.

Sarma is Assam’s health minister and one of the most influential BJP leaders from North-East.

Speculations were rife that Sarma is set to be the new BAI chief with top shuttlers Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and Parupalli Kashyap welcoming Sarma as BAI chief on their twitter account.

BAI is yet to call an executive committee meeting to decide on the next course of action.

A BAI insider said Sarma has already been selected to replace Das Gupta by senior members of the association.

“But there is another person in fray and the executive committee meeting is yet to take place. So let’s see. Things will be clear in the next few days.”

The BAI constitution states: "President shall be elected by the Council amongst its members and provided that only the outgoing office bearers or the member of the outgoing Executive Committee shall be eligible to contest the election for the post of President."

"The executive council meeting has not been called yet. The interim president can be decided only then. So we will have to wait," said a BAI official.

"We have to respect the constitution. Sarma is not a member of Executive Council. So first he needs to be included in the Council, the official added.

"We are looking forward for an able administrator like you to take care of badminton!! We welcome you sir" wrote Jwala.

To which, Sarma replied,“Thank you. Lets all work together to further strengthen badminton in India.”