Boxing federation decides date for polls

Following overnight parleys over internal disputes pertaining to the membership of Karnataka and Telengana state associations, 36 units took part in the general council meeting and "unanimously" decided the date of elections.

The AIBA had asked the faction-ridden Indian boxing fraternity to hold its elections by May 14 in order to ensure the country’s participation in boxing in the Rio Olympics.   -  AP

At its first general council meeting here on Saturday, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has decided to hold its elections on May 8. The final seal of approval will come from the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

Following overnight parleys over internal disputes pertaining to the membership of Karnataka and Telengana state associations, 36 units took part in the general council meeting and “unanimously” decided the date of elections.

The AIBA had asked the faction-ridden Indian boxing fraternity to hold its elections by May 14 in order to ensure the country’s participation in boxing in the Rio Olympics. Nine state units – including West Bengal, Delhi, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir – have expressed their desire to host the polls.

“We need 16 days to complete the election formalities and we have 28 days in hand. The venue and timeline will be decided in a few days time,” said AIBA ad-hoc committee convenor Jay Kowli addressing a press conference here.

“We will not take any shortcuts. We will invite observers from the AIBA, Government of India and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).”

Kowli profusely thanked the Bengal Olympic Association (BOA) and the Bengal Amateur Boxing Federation (BABF) for providing the platform and bringing all warring factions together for the revival of the National federation. “Thirty-six state units, barring Andaman and Nicobar, came together to participate in a meeting for the first time in one-and-a-half decades."

“It was in 1948 that the Indian federation had taken birth here and now its revival has happened at the same place,” said Kowli.

BOA president Ajit Banerjee, the elder brother of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, attended Saturday’s meeting as a special invitee. However, Banerjee did not commit whether he would be in the race for the BFI president’s post.

Ajit Banerjee’s younger brother and Bengal state unit secretary Swapan Banerjee expressed his delight over the state’s contribution in putting the National federation back on track.