New Delhi: The days of turmoil in Indian boxing seem finally headed for an end with the country's administrators today deciding to hold fresh elections on May 8 to put together the Boxing Federation of India as the new national body.
In a meeting of the stakeholders in Kolkata, it was unanimously decided to hold the elections on May 8, a good six days before the end of the deadline set by the tough-talking International Boxing Association (AIBA).
"The elections will be held on May 8 and the process will have the support of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The venue of the elections is still to be finalised. The nominations will now be sent to the International Boxing Association, which will take a call," a top official present in Sunday's meeting told PTI.
The race for the President's post is likely to be a three-way showdown between Delhi's Rohit Jain, who narrowly lost out on the Secretary General's position in the now defunct Boxing India, and former Secretaries Rakesh Thakran and Rajesh Bhandari.
The Secretary General's position is set to be contested by Jay Kowli, a member of the ad-hoc committee currently administering the sport, Goa's Lenny D'Gama and Jammu and Kashmir's Dr Nirmolak Singh.
While D'Gama has been a former Chairman of the Ring Officials Commission, Dr Singh has been the official doctor of the Indian boxing teams in the past.
"All contentious issues have been sorted with near unanimity now.
The clauses related to giving two votes to every member unit has been worked out. Besides the zonal representation has also been agreed on. So, it looks to be smooth from now and a new boxing body will take shape," the official said.
The development would come as massive relief for the country's boxers, who are facing expulsion from the Olympics if a new federation does not take shape by May 14.
Only one Indian boxer -- Shiva Thapa (56kg) -- has qualified for the Rio Olympics so far with two more qualifying events -- one each for men and women -- still to go.
All the state units have applied for membership to the Boxing Federation of India, the name given to the new body which will replace Boxing India.
Boxing India was terminated last year after rebellion by the state units owing to differences with its President Sandeep Jajodia. Interestingly, Kowli was the Secretary General in that body.
Indian boxing has been in administrative turmoil since 2012 when the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation was terminated for manipulation in elections.
The body that took shape after that -- Boxing India in 2014 -- also could not run the show and was dissolved by AIBA.
The continued tug of war between the administrators had jeopardised the sport to such an extent that Indian boxers were starved of international exposure due to the AIBA-enforced suspension, which has severely affected their overall performance.
To put the situation in perspective, a record seven men and one woman boxer had qualified for the Olympics in 2012, while only one has so far made the cut for Rio.
Add to this, Indian boxers have been forced to compete under the AIBA flag instead of the tri-colour because of the ongoing situation.