The Badminton Association of India president, VK Verma, may have insisted that the Sports Ministry had no business meddling in the affairs of the sports federation or their election process, but the latter is having none of it.
With the BAI refusing to provide details regarding the June 13 election, the ministry convened a meeting of all the Sports Control Boards (SCBs) on Tuesday to “apprise” them of the government guidelines and what line to take during the BAI Annual General Body Meeting to be held in Chennai before the election.
The ministry has also deputed Director (Sports), Deepika Kachhal, as observer for the elections, a first in the history of BAI polls.
The bone of contention is Verma’s insistence on continuing as president despite being in power for 14 years now. The government has issued guidelines restricting the tenure of National Sports Federation office-bearers to 12 years — on the lines of International Olympic Council’s tenure clause passed in October 2009.
According to the minutes of the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that the matter should be raised at the AGM on June 13 and the onus would be on the SCBs, who are full members of the BAI.
“We will tow the government line. We are government employees and we will raise all the issues discussed during the meeting,” said an official present at the meeting.
Though the SCB officials will raise the tenure issue at the AGM, they also know that the state units are unlikely to pay much heed. “Even at the state level there are so many people who are holding on to their posts for decades. Do you think they will back the tenure guidelines?” the official added on condition of anonymity.