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Munda wins AAI top spot

The AAI election held at Delhi saw Arjun Munda defeating B.V.P. Rao 34-18 in the polls

By Our Special Correspondent in Jamshedpur

  • Published 19.01.20, 12:04 AM
  • Updated 19.01.20, 12:04 AM
Arjun Munda
Arjun Munda Telegraph picture

Union tribal affairs minister and Khunti MP Arjun Munda, 51, was on Saturday elected president of the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI).

The election, held at Delhi in the presence of three observers, saw Munda defeating B.V.P. Rao 34-18 in the polls held in accordance with the Delhi High Court order.

The AAI election was held in the presence of an observer appointed by World Archery, Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol; an official from Union sports ministry, Vinit Kumar; an observer from the Indian Olympic Association, Hariom Kaushik; and former secretary P.K. Tripathy as the returning officer.

“That the election was held under three observers is a first step towards lifting the suspension of the AAI,” said a senior AAI official. World Archery had de-listed AAI in July and suspended it in August 2019 for going against its guidelines by electing two parallel bodiesdue to factionalism in the AAI. The two opposing archery factions with two presidents, Munda and Rao, created confusion over which was legitimate.

Sources said that AAI ex-president V.K. Malhotra backed Munda and his panel to win the AAI posts.

Three-time Jharkhand CM, Munda runs an archery academy in Seraikela that first trained former world number 1 Deepika Kumari.

Munda called the faith placed in him and his team “overwhelming”. “Lifting the World Archery ban, restoring the recognition of AAI with the sports ministry, setting up more archery academics, streamlining AAI activities and generating funds are our priorities,” said Munda, clearly hinting that he meant business ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

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