The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) alleged on Thursday that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was claiming it would not let next year’s World Twenty20 matches take place at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. Delhi is scheduled to host four men’s matches, including a semi-final, and six women’s matches.
With the DDCA required to seek clearances for fire safety and electrical issues to stage the matches, officials in the cricket body claimed that the Delhi government may create hindrances in issuing the clearance certificates.
The issue of entertainment tax too comes under the state government’s jurisdiction and DDCA officials felt it may have to seek the high court’s intervention.
“We have come to know through a source in the Delhi government that the DDCA will not be given clearance certificates for fire safety, electrical and entertainment tax. Since all these issues fall under the state government, the AAP is trying to play spoilsport again. They applied similar tactics before the India-South Africa Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla, and this time around too we are apprehensive of a similar scenario. If the issue worsens, we will seek the court’s help like we did during the Test. Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal is the observer, and if need be, we will again go to him for help,” DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda told HT.
Before the South Africa Test (December 3-7) at the Kotla, the Delhi government had levied Rs 24 crore entertainment tax on DDCA. The cricket body petitioned the high court for a reassessment of the tax. The excise department, after re-examining the matter, brought down the figure to Rs 1 crore. The DDCA was asked to pay the amount in two equal instalments within a month.
The DDCA was also asked to pay Rs 1.5 crore as property tax before the clearance was issued by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The high court also appointed Justice Mudgal as observer for the Test.
After the Test was successfully held, Justice Mudgal had handed a full-page reply stating that he was satisfied with the arrangements. In addition, he visited the stadium daily and ensured that the authorities did not have to seek any clarification.
The DDCA is likely to hold an emergent meeting on Saturday to decide the course of action against its vehement critics Kirti Azad and Bishan Singh Bedi.
Though nothing concrete has been chalked out as yet, sources said a decision is likely to be taken at the meeting.