Indian gymnastics body gets new office bearers; Mital, Shantikumar elected prez and secy

Gymnastics Federation of India,Indian Olympic Association,Sudhir Mital,Shantikumar Singh,S K Mendiratta

Former Competition Commission of India chairman Sudhir Mital and Shantikumar Singh were on Tuesday elected as president and general secretary respectively, of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI), bringing an end to the long-drawn factionalism in the sport.

Returning officer S K Mendiratta declared Mital and Shantikumar elected unopposed in the elections held at the Indian Olympic Association headquarters here.

Mital and Shantikumar remained the lone candidates for their respective posts. There were elections only for the posts of one treasurer and four executive committee members. Kaushik Bidiwala was elected as treasurer, defeating Ashok Kumar Sahoo by 42 votes to 2.

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Observers from the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Sports Ministry and the IOA were present during the elections. Former secretary-general Andre Gueisbuhler came as FIG observer, while Deepak Kumar and M S Tyagi represented the sports ministry and the IOA respectively.

Mital, a retired IAS officer of Punjab cadre, was a former president and served as GFI chief from 2003 to 2007. He served as chairman of the Competition Commission of India in 2018 after joining the organization in 2014 as a member.

Shantikumar, a former national level gymnast from Manipur, had earlier served as GFI treasurer from 2011 to 2015 and then got elected as secretary in the 2015 elections.

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GFI was de-recognized by the Sports Ministry in 2012 but after Tuesday’s elections, it is likely to be in the reckoning for recognition.

IOA is also expected to give recognition to the new national gymnastics body as it was involved in holding the elections. The world body had earlier asked the GFI to get its electoral college approved by IOA chief Narinder Batra.

IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said the factionalism in the GFI has ended with the conduct of the elections.

“The elections went off smoothly and the FIG observer said he was happy with the way the elections were held. There were observers from the Sports Ministry as well as the IOA. With today’s elections, the factionalism in the GFI has ended,” Mehta told PTI.

“I believe the IOA will grant recognition to the GFI now.”

GFI Office Bearers:

President: Sudhir Mital

Vice-Presidents: C Prabhakar, Digvijay Singh, Kiran Watal, P Prabu

General Secretary: Shantikumar Singh

Joint Secretaries: Anil Mishra, Manoj Kumar, N Subbarao, Ujjal Baruah

Treasurer: Kaushik Bidiwala

Executive Members: A Someshwar, G Gunasekaran, O P Ranote, Parmeshwar Prajapat.