New Delhi :Describing the re-election of V K Verma as Badminton Association of India's President a slap on the Sports Ministry's face, Archery Association chief V K Malhotra on Sunday said the incumbent triumphed despite desperate bids to impose the "draconian" tenure-limitation guidelines.
Verma has been at the helm in BAI for 12 years -- the maximum that a National Sports Federation head is allowed under the Sports Ministry's new guidelines, which have been opposed by the NSFs and the Indian Olympic Association.
Verma was re-elected for a fourth term in Chennai after his challenger former cricketer Mohd Azharuddin, who was reportedly supported by the Sports Ministry, backed out at the last minute.
Malhotra congratulated Verma.
"The government tried everything to prop up Azhar and used all their machinery but eventually had to lick dirt and it only shows that the new tenure limitation guidelines are draconian," Malhotra said.
"Office-bearers who have delivered for their associations will be elected on the merit of their work," he said.
Malhotra lashed out at the Ministry for trying to interfere in NSFs functioning.
"These guidelines are an attempt to infringe on the autonomy of national federations and it will not be allowed to happen.
"I congratulate all the units of the BAI for electing Mr Verma and it is a resounding slap on the government's face which had gone out of the way to unseat Mr Verma. Even the courts did not support their move and dismissed Azhar's plea for a stay on the elections," he said.