Seasoned administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya is set to continue his reign in the Cricket Association of Bengal unchallenged for yet another year with his detractors not putting up any candidate in the 79th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.
The CAB AGM at the Eden Gardens, that has seen some keen contests for the top post of the cash-rich association in recent times, appears headed to be a mundane affair with the Dalmiya lobby certain to win all the posts uncontested.
After returning as CAB president with a convincing victory over incumbent Prasun Mukherjee in 2008, Dalmiya had won the 2009 elections also unopposed.
In 2006, Dalmiya and Mukherjee - the city police commissioner - fought a high-voltage election with the latter having the blessings of the state chief minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee and Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar. However, Dalmiya won by five votes.
But the cricket czar had to step down in December that year following his expulsion by the BCCI - then ruled by Dalmiya’s bete noire Pawar -- on charges of embezzlement and Mukherjee took over the coveted post uncontested.
Excepting a 19-month hiatus since Dec, 2006, Dalmiya has held on to the CAB president's post since 1993.
The last date for filing nomination this year was July 20, but except one extra nominee for the vice president’s post, no one else filed their papers for the annual elections. And even Amitava Banerjee, the vice presidential nominee from outside the official panel, withdrew his candidature within 24 hours.
Technically, however, an election could become necessary if one or more candidates remained absent without withdrawing his nomination. In such a case, elections have to be conducted for these posts, a top CAB official said.
But the question remains as to whether Dalmiya is now eyeing a bigger role in the BCCI.
"Let's see. The coming two months leading up to September could be crucial," said a Dalmiya loyalist.
Former Indian cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly would attend the AGM as a nominee of Mohammedan sporting, while union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy represents Greer Sports Club.
But the West Bengal government's passage of a new taxation Bill Monday levying a 20 per cent amusement tax on sporting event tickets costing Rs.500 and more on a daily basis and Rs.3,000 and more on a season basis, could result in sparks flying at the AGM.
"In the recent World Cup soccer the South African government did not take any tax. On the other hand, it helped the event. Similarly the Delhi government has not clamped any tax on the Commonwealth Games. Rather they are helping.
"But why are taxes being levied in the state by keeping all sports bodies in the dark? Who will gain from this?” asked CAB joint secretary Biswarup Dey.