Uttarakhand’s Ajay Singh was elected president of the Boxing Federation of India, and the Mumbai-based Jay Kowli won the post of secretary-general as the election process for the office-bearers of the new National federation was completed here on Sunday. Ajay Singh, who polled 49 out of the 64 votes cast, defeated Rohit Jain (15 votes) in the contest for the president’s post. Kowli polled 48 votes, ahead of Lenny D’Gama (12) and Rakesh Thakran (4). Hemanta Kumar Kalita was elected unopposed as treasurer. Eight Zonal vice-presidents and secretaries were also elected to office. Sixty-six votes were to be cast by 33 units (two votes per unit). It is learnt that one voter each from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra were absent. The Indian Olympic Association did not send any representative to oversee the elections despite a written request from the AIBA (the world amateur boxing association), and the International Olympic Committee. Ajay Singh said: “I want everyone to work together. Indian boxing should return to the top-10 (in the World) again, maybe even top-five. “We need to put the bitterness and the politics of the past behind us and ensure that India comes back as a boxing super power.” The new BFI chief, a co-founder of SpiceJet, also announced his plans for a boxing league, more competitions for the pugilists and exposure for coaches and ring officials in AIBA events, with the BFI set to apply for recognition from the world boxing body in December.
Kowli said Services and Railways would be welcomed back into the system. “Services, Railways and the Steel Plants have always supported boxing. We value that,” he said. “We are looking at creating more jobs for boxers in the private sector.” Kowli was secretary of Boxing India, the previous federation which had to be dissolved after a revolt by the state units.