CHENNAI: The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) elections are getting more interesting by the day. All eyes were on the electoral college that was finalised on Wednesday. If sources are to believed, representing Maharashtra Boxing Association, Ashish Shelar, has been listed along with BFI secretary Jay Kowli.
The routine elections assumed significance after there were talks of Shelar contesting against popular BFI president Ajay Singh, who is representing Uttarakhand Boxing Association. The last date for nomination of representatives from state units was Wednesday evening. The final electoral roll will be announced on Friday.
Going by the nomination of representatives, it is understood Shelar, BJP MLA from Bandra West, would be part of the election process. Though the buzz among some state units, particularly in Maharashtra, is that he would be contesting, some believe it would be prudent to wait until the date of nominations for elections. The last date of nominations is on December 7.
According to the BFI notice, nominations for elections can be filed after 12am on December 5 and will end on December 7 at 1pm and declaration of nomination received would be on December 8 (11am).
Sparks have already started flying, and posters and pamphlets are in circulation among the boxing officials. Though it is assumed that there would be elections, Ajay Singh’s camp as of now feels things should be comfortable in the end because of the work done. An official even pointed out that a record number of boxers have already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to be held next year.
Assam’s Hemanta Kalita, who is the treasurer right now, is expected to be fielded for the secretary’s post by Ajay Singh and Madhya Pradesh’s Digvijay Singh will file nomination for the treasurer’s post. There have been acrimony in boxing federation elections in the last couple of times. The Indian Olympic Association gave recognition to BFI only in the first half of 2017 because of a dispute with Indian Amateur Boxing Federation of India (IABF).
It is understood that a few members of some old units have started creating issues in Assam and Madhya Pradesh. The BFI, however, considers them to be non-issues. Some senior members, who are key to the elections, too have not openly spoken against the current dispensation.
Except one or two, there have been very little voices of dissent, unlike last elections, when things started to rumble even before the dates of elections were announced. However, some members also feel that if both want to work for boxing, the two factions should join hands and work together. As of now, most prefer to wait and watch until the date of nominations and last date of withdrawal (November 12) are over. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled in Gurugram on December 18.