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Carvalho group sweeps Mumbai hockey elections

Source: PTI
June 30, 2009 16:27 IST
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The Joaquim Carvalho-led group, barring fellow-Olympian Gurbux Singh Grewal, swept the Mumbai Hockey Association polls that were held after five years.

Carvalho and his band, that included 1984 Los Angeles Games teammate and former India skipper M M Somaya, won 13 out of the 14 posts contested for at Monday's much-hyped elections.

Carvalho and Somaya contested and won two out of nine managing committee members' posts.

Former international Puran Singh Mann, from Carvalho's group, was also elected to the managing committee.

The lone reverse for Carvalho's group came when incumbent and ruling group leader Kehar Singh retained the secretary's post after thumping 1968 Mexico Games team member Gurbux 130-69 for the all-important post.

There were charges of rigging, but polling officer and veteran sports scribe S K Sham dismissed them saying the elections were held in a free and fair manner and so too was the counting of votes and invalidating these.

All other candidates of the Kehar Singh group, including former international and current Junior India coach Clarence Lobo, tasted defeat, despite backing from four-time Olympian and former captain Dhanraj Pillay.

Mangha Singh Bakshi, son of previous president Dilbagh Singh, was unanimously chosen president of the new body, which will guide Mumbai hockey for the next three years.

In the run-up to the polls, both groups had promised Mumbai hockey fans two brand new synthetic turfs, including one in the suburbs, a new clubhouse at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium, new floodlights and getting extension of the lease of the premises from the Maharashtra government.

Among those elected were veteran administrator P S Sujlana, who was instrumental in bringing Kehar into the MHA fold but later falling out with him, international umpire Peter Menezes and national umpire Ranjit Dalvi.

At the nomination stage itself, the candidature of Joaquim Carvalho and Avitus D'Cruz was debatable as they had been expelled as MHA members in 2006. Both have moved court to have the expulsion set aside.

But to be fair to them, and in keeping with the principle of natural justice, they were allowed to vote and contest the elections, Polling Officer Sham said in his statement to the media.

Elected members:

President: Mangha Singh Bakshi (unopposed).

Vice-presidents: P S Sujlana (160 votes) and Gulabrao Pol (149).

Secretary: Kehar Singh (130).

Treasurer: B G Chokhani (171).

Committee members: M M Somaya (175), J Carvalho (167), G S Chandok (169), M P Agarwal (156), Puran Singh Mann (179), Peter Menezes (156), Ranjit Dalvi (149), Malkit Singh Bal (256) and R S Rathod (223).

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