CHENNAI: Need of the hour forces improvisations. Due to travel restrictions and apprehensions caused by the pandemic, the Indian Golf Union (IGU) and Bridge Federation of India (BFI) will conduct elections online. The sports ministry has approved this method considering the situation. Bridge elections are on December 26 and golf on December 27.
Election is an important matter in national sports federations (NSFs) at the moment. A number of them have been told to carry out changes in their constitutions to fall in line with the National Sports Development Code. Failure will result in getting de-recognised by the ministry. Elections are a first step in that direction and December 31 is the last date to hold them.
The ministry has given the federations the options of casting ballots physically and going online. “While adopting said alternative, NSFs shall ensure the due transparency and secrecy of vote in the election procedure,” said a ministry advisory dated November 6, of the online process. The IGU and BFI are the only ones so far to have opted for this.
Elections in both federations will be held under electoral officers, who will decide the details of the process. In all likelihood, external agencies will be hired for technical support. In case of BFI, members will cast their votes from their respective cities. For IGU, members who want can attend the meeting in New Delhi physically, but all votes will be cast electronically.
The BFI has 22 voting associations, plus office-bearers and players in an electoral college of 35. December 20 and 25 are the last dates of filing and withdrawing nominations, respectively. Although S Sundaresan is expected to continue as president, there will be fresh faces in the other 10 posts since the incumbents have completed their terms. Going by tradition, officials in BFI are chosen unanimously. If that remains, contests are unlikely.
The situation is not that clear in IGU. It has 28 voting units and there’s a difference in opinion over eligibility of some of those. Matter is under the supervision of returning officer RK Gawba, who is expected to announce the electoral college soon. IGU insiders believe once that is out, it will be easier to say if there are contests on the cards.