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Pullela Gopichand set to become BAI Vice-President while Himanta Biswa Sarma to remain President

Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand has filed his nomination for the BAI Vice-President position (Pic credit: BAI)
Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand has filed his nomination for the BAI Vice-President position (Pic credit: BAI)

Pullela Gopichand is set to be the new Vice-President of the Badminton Association of India (BAI). The chief national badminton coach has resigned from the post and filed his nomination to be one of the 12 Vice-Presidents of the BAI.

There had been speculation that the 48-year-old Pullela Gopichand will file his nomination for the post of the General Secretary of the BAI. However, some last-minute drama prevented him from doing so and he had to go for the VP's position instead.

Chief junior national badminton coach Sanjay Mishra has filed his nomination for the General Secretary's position. It is also learnt that Raipur-based Mishra has resigned from his post of junior national coach.

Mishra, a former Madhya Pradesh state badminton champion, is the Secretary of the Chhattisgarh Badminton Association presently.

Junior national coach Sanjay Mishra is set to be the new General Secretary of BAI (Pic credit: BAI)
Junior national coach Sanjay Mishra is set to be the new General Secretary of BAI (Pic credit: BAI)

Technical clause comes in Pullela Gopichand's way

Pullela Gopichand, who has been the chief national badminton coach since 2006, wanted to file for the post of General Secretary and also got full support from BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.

However, a technical clause prevented him from doing so. According to the BAI constitution, one should be a member of the outgoing executive council to be elected as the General Secretary.

Since the former All England champion Gopichand is not a member of the current executive committee, he was unable to file his nomination for the desired post. Currently, Pullela Gopichand is the Secretary of the Telangana Badminton Association.

Former BAI General Secretary Ajay Kumar Singhania has also filed his nomination for Vice-President's post.

BAI president Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma filing his nomination in New Delhi (Pic credit: BAI)
BAI president Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma filing his nomination in New Delhi (Pic credit: BAI)

Himanta Biswa Sarma to continue as BAI President

Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma will continue to be the President of BAI for another four-year term.

53-year-old Sarma had filed his nomination on March 9 itself, the first day of the process. There had been speculation that Sarma would not contest for the position of BAI chief since he is now busy with his work as the CM of Assam.

However, he decided to have one more term due to the backing of almost all the affiliate units and associations.

Himanata Biswa Sarma and Arun Lakhani (Pic credit: BAI)
Himanata Biswa Sarma and Arun Lakhani (Pic credit: BAI)

MBA President Arun Lakhani to be treasurer

Arun Lakhani, the President of the Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA), will be the new Treasurer of BAI.

Nagpur-based businessman Lakhani will replace Ambumani Ramadoss of Tamil Nadu in this position. Lakhani was the Vice-President of BAI and the man chiefly responsible of hosting, perhaps, the best-ever Senior National Badminton Championships in Nagpur, in 2017.

All the top stars of India, including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, among others played in that event.

It has been learnt that another Vice-President of BAI from Maharashtra, Pradeep Gandhe, will be one of the executive committee members of the new body.

Omar Rashid will be Joint Secretary

Former BAI Secretary (Events) Omar Rashid has filed his nomination for the Joint Secretary's position. Guwahati-based Rashid will have a new role to play after his tenure in the position he occupied earlier.

There will be only one Secretary on the new committee as BAI has decided to let go of the Secretary (Events) and Secretary (Development and Coaching) positions.

Filing of the nominations ended at 5 PM on Friday, March 11. The last day for the withdrawal of nominations is March 19. Nominations will be scrutinised from Saturday.

The election, if necessary, will be held on March 25. According to BAI sources, the new executive council is all set to be elected unanimously and there will be no need for voting.

After the last date of withdrawals on March 19, the returning officer is expected to announce the final list of elected members on March 20.

BAI’s likely new executive council

President

Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma

General secretary

Sanjay Mishra

Treasurer

Arun Lakhani

Vice-Presidents

Pullela Gopichand

Ajay Singhania

Ambumani Ramadoss

Joint Secretary

Omar Rashid

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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