The BCCI top brass is waiting for the return of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, a former Board Vice President, to decide on the future course of action in the wake of the Supreme Court order barring sidelined President N Srinivasan from contesting elections.
A day after the Supreme Court ruling, the focus has shifted on Jaitely who is expected to advise the BCCI on all the legal matters and and find a way to resolve the issues.
But a subtle power game has already started within the BCCI corridors with various groups devising their own strategies and Jaitely, who can influence at least eight votes because of the BJP connection, can therefore play a big role in the upcoming Annual General Meeting.
Srinivasan declined to comment on the development for the second successive day and it is learnt that the Tamil Nadu strongmen is studying the Supreme Court’s order in detail.
While the incumbent President needs a proposer and seconder from the East Zone, whose turn it is to select the president, former ICC and BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya has emerged as the favourite with his years of experience along with interim president Shivlal Yadav.
“Jagmohan Dalmiya won’t take a step forward until and unless he gets the nod from Arun Jaitley, who is the most powerful man in BCCI politics. Jaitley will be back from Davos (World Economic Forum) on January 25th. Post his (Jaitley) arrival, Dalmiya will have a detailed discussion with the minister before taking any decision,” a senior BCCI functionary in the know of things told PTI today.
The official, who has seen Dalmiya function for years, said that though Srinivasan has a lot of respect for Dalmiya, one has to understand that he is ageing and therefore an alternate option can’t be ruled out.
Dalmiya on his part was non-committal on his stand as he spoke to reporters in Kolkata on Friday.
“The honourable Supreme Court of India has delivered its judgment just yesterday. Action in accordance with the direction of the Apex Court would have to be implemented within the stipulated time frame.
“However we’ve to wait at the moment as six-week is a long enough time. I’m sure things would be clearer within the next few days. I’m hopeful that the BCCI would soon meet and decide the way forward,” Dalmiya said.
Another man who is a dark horse for the president’s position is current interim president Shivlal Yadav, who has been among Srinivasan’s trusted lieutenants.
“Again there is a possibility that Jaitley might convince Dalmiya to support Shivlal’s candidature. Shivlal’s tenure during the past year as interim head has been controversy free. In any case, the Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar faction hardly controls four to five votes and if there’s an election, any member from the ruling faction would be a clear favourite,” the official said.
Shivlal, on his part, said, said, ” We are studying the order of the Supreme Court and will abide by it,” he said.
Supreme Court had on Thursday barred Srinivasan from contesting any BCCI election on grounds of conflict of interest.
Delivering its long-awaited verdict, the court held that the allegation of betting against Gurunath Meiyappan, a CSK team official and son in law of the BCCI President-in-exile and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra stands proved while the charge of cover up against Srinivasan “is not proved”.
Striking down rules that permitted BCCI office bearers to have a commercial interest by owning teams in the hugely-popular Indian Premier League and Champions League, a two-member bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Khalifulla, said, “Amendment in the BCCI rules allowing Srinivasan to own IPL team is bad as conflict of interest in cricket leads to great confusion.”
“No one who has commercial interest including N Srinivasan shall be eligible for any post in the BCCI and this disqualification on ground of commercial interest shall continue till such commercial interest will exist,” the bench said while asking BCCI to hold its AGM for electing office bearers within six weeks.