HYDERABAD: After a close contest, Telangana's IT and Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan defeated former Telangana Olympic Association chief K Ranga Rao to win the coveted position of president of the TOA.
While Ranjan secured 46 votes, Ranga Rao got 33 votes in the polling that went right down to the wire. Speaking to Express after the announcement of the results, Ranjan said, "It's not a clear mandate since many from my panel were defeated. But we have to work together for the betterment of sports in Telangana".
Ranjan's slight dejection comes from the fact that many members from his panel, including handball association member Pawan Kumar, triathlon candidate Srisailam and Phani Rao were defeated in the polls. Someshwar from Ranjan's panel won as the joint secretary. In contrast, though Ranga Rao lost the president post, several of his panel members -- Malla Reddy, Norman Issac and Ramakrishna -- won the elections. Besides, Jagdishwar Yadav of the Ranga Rao panel was elected secretary and Maheshwar was elected for the post of treasurer. In the elections that were conducted between 1 pm and 4 pm on Sunday, 81 of the 84 voters cast their vote across the State.
Kailash Yadav who represents judo, Narsinga Reddy who represents table tennis and another official abstained from voting.
Meanwhile, allegations of malpractices surfaced from Khammam.
A registered voter complained that he was not allowed to vote as someone else had voted in his stead.
“Someone claiming that he represented ice-skating voted in my place. There are no facilities for even playing volleyball in the district. Where has the ice-skating come from?” the aggrieved voter asked.
Each voter has to vote for 26 persons, which translates into 2,184 votes polled.
Jayesh Ranjan and Ranga Rao cast their votes and were present at Lal Bahadur Stadium, the venue of polling. BJP leader AP Jithendra Reddy is presumed to be supporting Rao.
It may be recalled that the nominations of both Ranjan and Reddy were declined by the Returning Officer Justice B Chandra Kumar. While Ranjan appealed for the restoration of his nomination in the High Court and got an order in his favour, Reddy decided to sit out the elections.