In a change of guard at the Indian Boxing Federation, Rajasthan BJP MLA Abhishek Matoria was today elected president of the body while incumbent Abhay Singh Chautala was handed the nominated post of Chairman at its Annual General Meeting here.

Left in a fix after the Sports Ministry barred it from making constitutional changes that could have facilitated continuation of the incumbent set of office-bearers, the IBF opted for a slight change of guard at its AGM, which started here.

“My name was unanimously elected by the house and having being an athlete myself, I plan to do all that I can to take Indian boxing higher,” Mr Matoria told PTI after his election.

“I have been associated with boxing and have even accompanied the team to the 2007 World Championships in Chicago. Boxing is a sport close to my heart and I will try to ensure that the talent in villages gets exposure at the national level,” he said.

The elections were overseen by observer Justice M S Liberhan, while ex-judge D K Sharma was there as the presiding Officer.

Among other prominent functionaries, serving secretary general Brig P K Muralidharan Raja was elevated to the post of sr. vice-president.

Mr Raja was replaced by Rajesh Bhandari as the new secretary general.

Asked about Mr Chautala being made the nominated chairman, an IBF official said, “The ministry cannot object to it because it is a nominated position. No rule has been violated as far as the elections were concerned. It has been a transparent exercise.”

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