Hyderabad: Two of the three presidential candidates in the fray have been disqualified by the Returning Officer while the third is arguably not eligible! It’s a comedy of errors ahead of Sunday’s elections to the Telangana Olympic Association that will most likely run into a legal roadblock.
That the two disqualified members are high-profile gentlemen makes it even more comical, in the Olympic year. A.P. Jithender Reddy is a two-time former member of Parliament while IAS officer Jayesh Ranjan is the principal secretary of the industries & commerce (I&C) and information technology (IT) departments of the Telangana state government.
Mr Reddy was disqualified on the grounds of proposing the name of Mr K. Ranga Rao, the third candidate for the president’s post, while Mr Ranjan’s application did not find favour with Returning Officer, Justice B. Chandra Kumar, as he did not submit the letter of clearance by the Chief Secretary on the day of filing his nomination, as mandated for a All India Services officer.
Now, with Mr Ranga Rao the only man standing, the two others are planning to move court and stall the polls stating that he falls foul of the National Sports Code, according to which those in key positions like president, secretary and treasurer should not exceed the age of 70. Mr Rao is 84.
However, Mr Rao contends that the rule applies only to the federations at the national level and not to state bodies and that the ministry of sports and Indian Olympic Association should mark out clear guidelines.
Besides the tricky top, it’s a straight fight between Mr K. Jagadishwer Yadav and Mr A. Jagan Mohan Rao for the secretary’s post while Mr K. Maheshwar and Mr Kunta Pani Rao will slug it out to be the treasurer.
There are five in fray for the four vice-president slots, seven contesting the four joint-secretary spots; seven vying for five seats for Executive Committee members from District Olympic Associations and 12 in the running for 10 places for the Executive Committee members from Sports Associations.