On a day when the first steps towards the BCCI’s September elections were to be taken, the Board took a step back instead by postponing its working committee meeting, leaving its future activities in a limbo.
The under-fire president, N Srinivasan, who was supposed to chair the meeting, faced resistance at the onset. Two vice-presidents, Niranjan Shah (West Zone) and Sudhir Dabir (Central Zone), threatened to quit along with three working committee members if Srinivasan chaired the meeting.
While the IPL governing council meeting, held first, was on, Srinivasan was called by Jagmohan Dalmiya for a private chat at the end of which the two went to the room where the GC was on and announced that the working committee meeting had to be adjourned.
The explanation given was that it could attract legal complications since the Board had failed to mention “emergent” in the circular sent as required after the Board had failed to send out an agenda.
“It seemed as if they wanted to extend the governing council meeting till lunch. There was no serious issue being discussed and they were waiting for Dalmiya and Srinivasan to finish their talk. Earlier, both Rajiv Shukla and Arun Jaitley had also met Srinivasan with Shukla seemingly upset with Srinivasan,” said a senior official.
Another Board insider said, “It is shocking that an organisation of this stature could make such a technical error ahead of a key meeting. Actually, the war is out in the open, and there is a faction which wants to see the back of Srinivasan.
"The resignation of vice-presidents and members may have made it tough for Srinivasan after the resignations of Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke made Srinivasan to step aside initially. BCCI’s current dispensation seems to have bought time till the Supreme Court verdict comes out.”
The days leading up to August 15, the tentative cut-off date for the next meeting to thrash out issues about the elections, will be crucial as all eyes will be on Supreme Court. The AGM, when the elections are to be held, has been slotted from September 21-24.
A Board insider said, “Srinivasan’s hold has weakened. It gives Sharad Pawar, who seems to be looking for a comeback, some hope.”
However, the Mumbai Cricket Association elections, from where Pawar would be normally expected to contest first, have been delayed until after the AGM.
Said a source, “Till the current MCA president Ravi Savant (recently appointed BCCI treasurer) is there, Srinivasan has Mumbai with him along with Baroda (secretary Sanjay Patel’s association) and Gujarat (as of now), which is known to be Pawar’s stronghold.
Both North and Central Zones have divided and non-committal votes, leaving South as the only real support Srinivasan has. In that case, the role of Dalmiya’s Bengal and other East Zone associations are important.”
Pawar, it has been learnt, may still try to come into contention from an East Zone association not in league with Dalmiya.