Amid bomb scares in several parts of the city including the Calcutta High Court just behind the Eden Gardens, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) experienced a minor explosion of sorts shortly before 10 pm on Tuesday evening when news trickled out that Jagmohan Dalmiya had reclaimed the president's chair.
He had secured an overwhelming 71 votes out of 115 following three cancellations on the floor. Incumbent Prasun Mukherjee managed only 44. Dalmiya had defeated Mukherjee, then commissioner of Kolkata Police, 61-56. There was unconfirmed reports that Dalmiya's panel was heading for a clean sweep.
Apart from bringing Dalmiya back to the top chair which he had to vacate in January 2007 following a suspension order from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Tuesday's verdict also opened the possibility of more acrimony between the parent body and CAB.
The Dalmiya camp was supremely confident going into the annual general meeting this evening. Biswaroop Dey, a favourite for one of the two joint-secretaries's post, said he was looking at 80 votes for his president. Although Dalmiya stopped short of that mark, Dey reportedly bagged 77. There was also news that Dalmiya's candidates for the post of vice-presidents - Samar Kar, Shib Kumar Kalyani, Shivaji Dutta and Arijit Roy - also emerged victorious.
This verdict ensured that Dalmiya returned to the CAB with all his men scotching fears of having to contend with some of Mukherjee's people in the corridors of power. In 2001, when he became the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Dalmiya had Niranjan Shah, elected from the rival camp, as his secretary.
The meeting at the Eden started with Dalmiya questioning a few things in the internal audit report where there is a clause saying that the BCCI could deduct Rs 40 crore which it has accused Dalmiya of siphoning from the 196 World Cup funds. Dalmiya reportedly claimed the CAB couldn't be penalised based on allegations levelled at an individual.
With Dalmiya sweeping back to power, chances are that this could again become a major issue and the CAB get into the bad books of the BCCI. When questioned about this, Dalmiya's men though said they are not apprehending trouble even as they gird for another legal battle.