Only those convicted for 2 or more years barred from polls:IOA

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New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association today managed to dilute the contentious clause which would bar charge-sheeted officials from contesting elections while accepting all the other amendments proposed by the International Olympic Committee, clearing the decks for an early return to the Olympic fold.The IOA officials, who were strongly opposed to the chargesheet clause, proposed to apply it to only convicted persons. It means that only those who are held guilty by a court for a jail term of two or more years will not be able to contest elections.If the amendments agreed to in a marathon Special General Body Meeting of the IOA here are accepted by the IOC, it will be a huge reprieve for the likes of Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma who were chargesheeted in 2010 Commonwealth Games scam along with former IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi as they will be allowed to contest elections in that situation.All the other amendments proposed by the IOC in the revised draft constitution sent on August 15 have been accepted by the GBM."We have accepted all the amendments proposed by the IOC except the chargesheet clause. We have modified that clause and now only those persons who have been convicted by a court for a jail term of two or more years will not be able to contest elections and will be disqualified automatically. This is the same as in Peoples Representation Act of Parliament," S Reghunathan, who chaired the meeting, told reporters."The cases of those persons who are convicted for a jail term for less than two years will be referred to the Ethics Commission of the IOA and the IOA Executive Committee will take a final decision on the recommendations by Ethics Commission," he said.Francisco Elizaide, one of the three IOC observers in the GBM, said he was by and large satisfied with the decisions taken by the IOA GBM, including the issue of chargesheeted persons being barred from elections.He said he has a "positive feeling" and chances of India's return to the Olympic gold are "improving".

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