New Delhi [India], December 16 (ANI): Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning boxer Manoj Kumar has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to come to the rescue of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) which is on the verge of being derecognised by the Sports Ministry for not adhering to the National Sports Code.
He pointed out that the BFI was mandated by the Delhi High Court to conduct elections for its office-bearers before December 31 to continue as a national sports federation and to enjoy grants and other privileges extended to it by the government.
"The notification for AGM and elections was sent out to all the BFI units and the election process had also begun, with a Returning Officer taking charge of the proceedings," Manoj said in a statement on Wednesday, explaining the reasoning behind his letter. "But when BFI president Ajay Singh saw that a strong candidate in the form of Ashish Shelar had filed his nomination to contest for the president's post, he panicked and postponed the elections," he added.
The decorated boxer, who is the Athletes Representative in the BFI Executive Council, insisted that Ajay Singh had no right to intervene once the election process had begun and accused him of taking an arbitrary decision. He accused him of doing this purely to remain in power and to hide his own failure as president of BFI, which has left the federation in the red to the tune of over Rs 6 crores.
"This arbitrary decision to postpone the elections will have grave consequences for us boxers as well as for India, with the international body even likely to impose severe sanctions against the BFI, if not to suspend it," Manoj said. "If we could hold elections in Bihar and in Hyderabad, if other sports federations can have elections despite the COVID, why couldn't we?" he asked.
The Olympian outlined a number of instances that underscored the fact that BFI had been administered poorly since Ajay Singh came to power four years ago, with the appointment of RK Sacheti as Executive Director being one of the main grouses of all state units.
Writing about his own grievances, Manoj revealed that he was being singled out for fighting for the rights of his fellow boxers. "Once, I had written a letter to the Sports Minister against the injustice being meted out to me and Raj Sacheti threatened me, saying I will pay a huge price for my complaint," he wrote. (ANI)