In a setback to Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia's camp, Raninder Singh, the son of Punjab Congress chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, emerged victorious in the elections for life and annual members of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) held in New Delhi on Monday.
Despite pressing the Punjab government machinery into service, the Majithia camp failed to stop NRAI president, Raninder, from having his way to exercise the right to choose the four representatives of the life members of the NRAI.
The members, though, will be chosen at a later date.
"I can only say, it's a victory of sports over politics," said Raninder, who is also a former international-level shooter.
Going as per tradition, the general house of the NRAI passed a resolution to authorise Raninder to nominate four members of his choice on Monday.
But the resolution was challenged by a section of life members, following which a voting --- on whether the president should be given the powers to nominate the members of his choice or they should be chosen through an electoral procedure --- was done.
In the voting, of the 842 valid votes, 513 life members voted in favour of giving Raninder the power to nominate the four representatives, while 329 voted against it.
For the annual members too, of the 28 votes, 24 were cast in favour of giving Raninder the power to nominate the four representatives.
But, as per the directives of the Delhi High Court, the NRAI cannot notify the elections results just yet. The results and the observer's report will first have to be sent to court in a sealed envelope.
Pawan Preet Singh Dhillon (Bobby Badal) from village Badal, was representing the Majithia camp.
Stage-managed procedure: Rathore
Athens Olympic Games silver-medallist, RVS Rathore, raised objections on the way the elections were held on Monday.
"It (the election procedure) was stage-managed and not held as per the NRAI constitution. How can there be a voting to decide whether to have elections or not. It's a clear-cut mockery of the democratic setup," said Rathore.
"As per the NRAI constitution, the returning officer should be from outside of NRAI, while Raninder, who was made returning officer for the elections, is himself the president of the NRAI.
"There was no permanent ink marked on the people who voted. There were cases in which people cast multiple votes. Raninder, who is going to contest the NRAI elections on April 6, will benefit directly from today's developments, as the four representatives he chooses (at a later date), will cast their votes in his favour," he added.
There are indications that the 'other faction' is likely to challenge today's elections in court.