The crisis in the suspended Indian Amateur Boxing Federation has taken a new turn with a prominent state unit chief raising his voice against the “irregularities” in its elections and seeking the help of other member units to clear the present mess.
In a letter addressed to all members of the IABF, Bengal Amateur Boxing Federation (BABF) president Asit Banerjee has pointed out various flaws in the election process which forced the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the Union Sports Ministry to suspend the IABF.
In a detailed description of the proceedings, Banerjee has said the annual general meeting of the IABF and the ensuing elections held at Patiala on September 23 were replete with “irregularities” and “flaws.”
Banerjee said that one of the major irregularities was that the proposed amendments were not discussed and a new post of chairman was created in violation of the IABF constitution.
He mentioned that the returning officer’s announcement that no nominations had been received was part of a “pre-planned” strategy.
According to Banerjee, outgoing president Abhay Singh Chautala, who declined a re-election and immediately assumed the office of the newly-created chairman’s post “introduced the new president (Abhishek Matoria), an MLA, unknown to the boxing fraternity, who had not even filed his nomination.”
“We learned later that he (Matoria) was related to the outgoing president,” said Banerjee, a former IABF vice-president.
Since the AIBA has now stopped communicating with any IABF official and made it clear that it will interact only with the Sports Ministry, Banerjee, who is also heading the East Zone Boxing Association (EZBA), urged various member units of the IABF to approach the Ministry and find a way forward to hold re-elections in a transparent manner and ensure smooth functioning of the national federation.
After its suspension, the IABF has been maintaining that the allegations of irregularities were not true and the elections were held as per the IABF constitution as well as the National Sports Code.