GIVING A befitting reply to its rival faction, a group of the Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association (UPOA) on Sunday elected Union Minister of State for Steel Dr Akhilesh Das as its president for a four-year term.
As expected, UP Handball Association secretary Anandeshwar Pandey was chosen general secretary again. Uttar Pradesh Badminton Association secretary Dr Vijay Sinha was named the new treasurer.
A low turnout was expected in Sunday’s meeting after the rival faction led by IOA vice-president Sardar Mohd Aslam Khan elected Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Kalraj Mishra as its president at a hurriedly called meeting in Noida on Friday.
Interestingly, the Indian Olympic Association stayed away from the elections of both factions. So far, it has not recognised any of the two bodies as its authorised unit in the State.
The UPOA election was due before September 6, as the four-year term of the previous body began on September 6, 2002. Pandey issued an election notification on September 5, fixing the election for Sunday.
“I did inform the outgoing president Aslam Khan about the election, but he didn’t respond,” claimed Pandey after Sunday’s AGM.
“The rival group tried its best to disturb our election. The IOA authorities were informed about today’s AGM,” said Pandey.
Akhilesh Das assured that the 2009 National Games would be organised in Uttar Pradesh at all costs. “The IOA has conditionally withdrawn the Games from here, but we are confident of bringing them back here,” said Das, who is also chairman of the UP Badminton Association.
He assured the UP Sports Act issue would be dealt with amicably.
“Being protectors of sports, we don’t want to have a confrontation with the State Government on the issue. We will sort out differences, if any, between the UPOA and the State Government over the Sports Act.”
“I am confident that the State Government will consider our genuine demand for amendments in the Sports Act as per provisions of the Olympic Charter,” said Das.
Thirty-nine district associations and 19 State sports associations took part in Sunday’s AGM. Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Bijnor, Agra, Aligarh, Kanpur Dehat, Lakhimpur Kheri, Saharanpur and Allahabad didn’t participate.
The participating State sports associations included the UP Wrestling Association, the UP Volleyball Association, the UP State Rifle Association, the UP Boxing Association, the UP Hockey Association, the UP Badminton Association, the UP Swimming Association, the UP Triathlon Association, the UP Basketball Association, the UP Taekwondo Association, the UP Cycling Association, the UP Amateur Athletics Association, the UP Kho-Kho Association, the UP Wrestling Association, the UP Canoeing and Kayaking Association, the UP Handball Association, the UP Kabaddi Association and the UP Yachting Association.
Meanwhile, Aslam Khan told Hindustan Times that Sunday’s AGM was against the UPOA constitution.
“No AGM can be convened without the president’s consent. I wasn’t even aware of Sunday’s meeting,” he said over the phone.
Senior vice-president: Ranjit Singh Judeo; Vice-presidents: Sanjay Garg, Prabhat Chandra Chaturvedi, Fateh Bahadur, Harbhajan Singh, ND Sharma, JN Tyagi, Navneet Sehgal, Anil Agarwal, VK Ghai, Shyam Singh Yadav, KN Kapoor; Senior joint secretary: PK Srivastava; Joint secretaries: JP Agarwal, Prem Mishra, Arun Banerjee, Sahdev Singh, CPS Tavetiya, Bhupendra Sahi, Pramod Kumar and Ravin Kapoor; Sports development committee chairman: OP Singh; Technical committee chairman: Dr Kripal Singh; Associate vice-presidents: BK Singh, Syed Shariq Ali, Naseeb Pathan; Associate joint secretaries: AK Gupta, Ali Abbas, Sudhir Sharma, Puneet Agarwal; PRO: Virendra Shukla.