Azhar hits back, says hes eligible to contest for BAI election

Undeterred by opposition from the ruling group, cricketer-turned-politician Mohammed Azharuddin on Monday said he will go ahead with his plans to contest for the president's post in Badminton Association of India's June 13 election in Chennai.

Azharuddin created a stir with his announcement to fight in the election with BAI President VK Verma questioning his eligibility since he still was serving a life ban slapped by the cricket board on match-fixing charges.

"My decision to contest for the post of President of Badminton Association of India (BAI) was taken after fully considering the eligibility criteria for the post," Azharuddin said in a statement.

"Section 15 of the AP Societies Act 2001 is the only provision which prescribes the conditions for disqualification for the appointment as Member of Committee and none of them is applicable to me.

"No by-laws or decisions of Badminton Association of India can override the statutory Provisions of the Act. I shall, therefore, be going ahead with my decision to contest the election schedule in Chennai on June 13, 2010," he added.

Azharuddin, who announced his willingness to contest the BAI elections on Saturday, said Verma's allegations were "motivated" and that he had approached government to ensure a free and fair election. "The statement made by the incumbent President is motivated and raises concerns that free and fair elections may not be held, for which I have already approached the ministry concerned," Azharuddin said.

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