Srini set to be elected unopposed; VPs Dabir, Shah dropped
Chennai: Unruffled by criticism and adverse observations of the Supreme Court, a defiant N Srinivasan is all set to be elected unopposed as BCCI President for a third year even as two vice-Presidents were on Saturday unceremoniously dumped ahead of the Board`s AGM here on Sunday.
Srinivasan was the lone Presidential candidate put forward by the South Zone, from where he got the proposer and the seconder.
While Srinivasan`s nomination was on expected lines, there was some interesting drama which unfolded during the nominations for the other posts.
Sudhir Dabir, vice President from the central zone and his west zone colleague Niranjan Shah were removed from their positions even though both were eligible for extension. MCA president Ravi Savant replaced Shah from west zone, while senior Congress leader and union minister Rajiv Shukla took Dabir`s position from the central zone.
Another political heavyweight, Arun Jaitley, relinquished the vice-President`s position due to his political commitments and was replaced by his Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) colleague Sneh Bansal.
While Dabir is considered close to former BCCI chief and Srinivasan`s adversary Shashank Manohar, Shah is perceived to be a confidante of another former Board head Sharad Pawar, someone who harbours the ambition to upset Srinivasan`s applecart.
Haryana Cricket Association chief Anirudh Chaudhary has been nominated for the post of Treasurer, which was to become vacant after Savant is formally made vice-President on Sunday.
"I don`t want to politicise the whole issue by making any comments. Whatever you have heard is true," Dabir said when asked whether he has been dropped.
Cricket Association of Bengal veteran Chitrak Mitra and HCA president and former India off-spinner Shivlal Yadav were game with a year`s extension.
But the spotlight on Sunday would be firmly on Srinivasan, who can only resume his duties once the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the case filed against his candidature by the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma.
There is a possibility that Srinivasan might again have to appoint Jagmohan Dalmiya as the working head of the Board but it is unlikely that the president-in-exile will give any additional powers, including signing authorities, to the shrewd Kolkatan.
In that case, Sanjay Patel, who will now become the permanent secretary, will have to sign all the necessary documents till the apex court allows Srinivasan to resume charge.
Despite the Supreme Court making some serious observations like how he has continued being the president despite his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan being charge-sheeted by Mumbai Police in the IPL betting scandal, Srinivasan and his confidants have gone ahead with their plan of retaining power.
While the Goa Cricket Association and the Andhra Cricket Association were initially reluctant to support the Tamil Nadu strongman but the `Cement Baron` from south and his trusted aides used their persuasive skills to perfection to get them on board.
All the six southern associations (Tamil Nadu CA, Andhra CA, Karnataka State CA, Kerala CA, Hyderabad CA and GOA CA) stood firmly behind Srinivasan, ruling out the possibility of any contest.
Also the fact that none of the influential voices in the BCCI, including some of the political luminaries, took a stand, made it a tad too easy for him.
Most of the state associations, who get a lot of sops in the form of annual grants as well as international matches, have no voice whatsoever and would toe the `Srinivasan-Line`.
His ability to keep the members happy has also gone strongly in favour of Srinivasan. A two-day pleasure trip to a plush resort in Mahabalipuram and a lavish party thrown at a five-star facility in the city on Friday night were testimony to the amount of confidence he has in his members.