Ahead of Ind-NZ ODI, DDCA involved in slugfest over tender process

  • Khurram Habib, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 18, 2016 22:40 IST
The issue relates to the sale of the in-stadia advertisement rights. (AFP Photo)

There is never a dull moment when it comes to Delhi cricket association (DDCA). Divisions are nothing new and the cracks have already widened over whether or not to implement the Justice RM Lodha committee report.

At the Ferozeshah Kotla, brickbats fly, and naysayers outnumber those who are for complying with the Supreme Court order asking state units to fall in line, to get funds from the board.

However, two days head of Thursday’s second ODI versus New Zealand, the Ferozeshah Kotla was buzzing over another row in the controversy-ridden association. On Tuesday, even skipper MS Dhoni’s batting at the nets and the team press conference were dwarfed by this fight.

The issue relates to the sale of the in-stadia advertisement rights. A tender was floated and one firm bid R2.17 crore and another Rs 2 crore. However, the winning bidder purportedly could not remit the amount and DDCA officials, led by vice-president Chetan Chauhan, drew up a deal by which the winner bidder was asked to pay R67 lakh and the rival Rs 1.5 crore to jointly execute the job.

But Chauhan and Co are now facing allegations of corruption over this ‘tripartite’ deal from the rival group in the association. “Why did DDCA enter into an illegal tri-partite deal on October 14 that amounted to cartelization,” Subhash Sharma, joint secretary, alleged in a statement.

Chauhan justified the agreement as it was close to the match, denying any corruption. But his opponents alleged in a news conference that the deal had been signed a day before the deadline.

The group opposed to Chauhan’s wrote to Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal, who is the court-appointed DDCA observer, and he suggested some changes in the agreement to solve the issue. However, the row continues to rage.

The sparring parties incidentally are at the opposite ends of the Lodha debate. It seems unlikely that they will end the fresh bout of sparring soon.

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