RAIPUR: For the first time the Chhattisgarh Olympic Association (COA) is witnessing a due election process that will see only few politicians securing various key posts in the organisation.
"The procedure right from the notification, filing of nomination papers and its scrutiny to withdrawal of names usually were not seen in the past. Several candidates who are either former players or those associated with various sports bodies, with less politicians who usually have nothing to do with the sports, as new faces for various positions in the COA", said a senior functionary who keeps an eye on the exercise of elections.
And to ensure a free and fair election, an observer has also been appointed by the Indian Olympic Association.
“We have received nomination papers for every post. For the post of president and general secretary only a single nomination was filed for each. For the ten posts of vice-president initially 18 candidates submitted their papers but later eight withdrew. Owing to lockdown reimposed, the process of voting has been re-scheduled for July 30,” said the returning officer Ganpat Rao, a former district and sessions judge.
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel is set to be elected as the president of COA and replace the ex-CM Raman Singh.
Barring the post of treasurer, for which two candidates are in contest, there is only one name remaining in the fray for each of the other posts of COA after the withdrawal of nominations.
The election process of the Executive Board of the COA is held for 31 posts.
It was in February this year the Indian Olympic Association had asked the COA to conduct the election process of the Executive Board whose tenure was over in December 2019.
The election process was reportedly delayed owing to Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the president after getting elected usually carry out appointments of the remaining members of the executive board and the due process of the elections were not properly followed for every given post, a former COA office-bearer told the New Indian Express.
Raman Singh remained the president of the COA for the last two terms from 2012 to 2020.