New Delhi: Senior journalist Rajat Sharma on Monday beat World Cup winning India cricketer Madan Lal by 517 votes to become the new president of Delhi and Districts Cricket Association. The results of the DDCA polls were announced today and Sharma's group swept the elections winning all 12 seats.
Sharma got a total of 1531 votes while former Test cricketer Lal could only poll 1004 votes. The third candidate in the fray, advocate Vikas Singh, got 232 votes only.
It was a major setback for BCCI acting president CK Khanna, whose wife Shashi lost the vice-presidential battle against Rakesh Bansal, younger brother of former DDCA president Sneh Bansal. Rajesh beat Shashi by 278 votes while Bansal junior got 1364 votes to Shashi's 1086 votes.
The defeat might prove to be the end of the road for Khanna in DDCA, where he enjoyed supreme power for nearly three decades.
Sharma and his panel's candidature was backed by a political heavyweight from the ruling party with the IOA president Narinder Batra throwing in all his might. Batra incidentally is a former DDCA treasurer.
"The moment Sharma got blessings from a senior cabinet minister, there was no chance in hell for any other candidate to win this election. What was not expected was a clean panel sweep. It will be good that Sharma will get a free hand to run the body. This also means that CK Khanna's reign in DDCA ends unless he strikes some deal with Sharma," a senior DDCA official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Sharma was always considered as the favourite to win against Lal, who was backed by Khanna and former India opener Chetan Chauhan's group.
With DDCA being the first among equals to go into elections after the Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee suggested path-breaking structural reforms, the polling also witnessed abolition of proxy system with nearly 3000 voters turning up to cast their vote.
Among the other notable winners was former sports committee head Vinod Tihara, (1374 votes) who became secretary defeating nearest rival Manjeet Singh (998) by 376 votes.
Tihara is expected to run the daily affairs of DDCA including a big say in all the representative teams -- especially Ranji Trophy and men's age group. The joint secretary's post went to Rajan Manchanda (1402), younger brother of former treasurer Ravinder, who beat Pushpender Chauhan (953) by 449 votes. Pushpender is the younger brother of Chetan Chauhan.
For treasurer's post, Om Prakash Sharma beat Deepak Singh by 1241-891 votes. Sanjay Bhardwaj was elected for the director's post (first-class cricketer) while Renu Khanna became the women director.
The other directors elected were Apruv Jain, son of former media manager Ravi Jain, who polled 1286 votes, Alok Mittal, Nitin Gupta, Shiv Nandan Sharma and Nitin Agarwal.