The national convenor of Cleans Sports India (CSI), BVP Rao, is all set to challenge the Archery Association of India (AAI) chief, Vijay Kumar Malhotra's bastion in the upcoming federation elections on October 28.
The fact that this will be the first time someone will be challenging Malhotra, who has been at the helm for nearly four decades, has sent ripples in the sports fraternity.
Rao, a former Assam cadre bureaucrat, said he had taken the plunge in order to improve the "federation's setup".
“I hope to bring about changes at the administrative level that will reflect in the performance (of athletes) at the national and international level,” Rao told HT on Tuesday.
Rao said he had enough experience in the field of sports to head the association. He was one of the key figures to set up the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Special Area Games scheme in 1985. "If all goes well, I shall be able to put my vast experience for the betterment of archery," he said.
Malhotra, the undisputed chief of the AAI since 1973, is also facing a legal battle in the Delhi High Court with regard to the elections.
But the veteran BJP leader is unfazed by all these developments, including the sports ministry's guidelines on age and tenure that render him ineligible to contest for the post of president for another four-year term.
When contacted, Malhotra said, “The AAI constitution doesn't say I cannot hold the post of president (for another term).”
He, however, is waiting for the Delhi High Court verdict on the issue, which is expected this week.
“Let's see what happens,” was his reply when asked whether he plans quit if the verdict goes against him.