Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi on Monday filed his nominations for the December 19 Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) elections, defying a ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Modi’s nominations for the post of RCA president prompted a livid BCCI to threaten suspension of the state cricket association for letting him back.
Modi’s move was timed perfectly, coming just a couple of day after a BJP government under Vasundhara Raje took oath in Rajasthan.
In 2005, Modi had allegedly used his proximity to Raje – who was in power at that time – to foist a new Sports Act, which paved the way for him to take control of the RCA.
Modi was banned for life by the BCCI from all cricket matters in India after being found guilty of financial bunglings during his stint as IPL commissioner. The suspension was stayed by the Rajasthan high court in October.
Modi’s papers were filed by his lawyer Mehmood Abdi, who himself is aiming for the vice-president’s post in the elections scheduled on Thursday.
Present RCA president Dr CP Joshi did not file his nominations. Sources said that following the Congress’ drubbing in the just-concluded elections, RCA district units who had earlier backed Joshi deserted him and crossed over to the Modi camp.
The Modi faction is claiming support of 26 of 33 district associations. However, only 29 districts can vote as four are involved in legal cases.
“We have sufficient numbers,” said Abdi.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel threatened that the “RCA stands to lose its rights and privileges as BCCI member if the expelled administrator of BCCI is allowed to remain an office-bearer of one of your district units.
Therefore, kindly comply to BCCI directives and report the same to us.”
Modi’s legal counsel claimed that since the RCA was governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act, the BCCI ban was not applicable on the former BCCI vice-president.
“I have said umpteenth times that Lalit Modi is eligible to fight RCA elections. RCA is governed by Rajasthan Sports Act 2005. BCCI is simply a registered body and its bylaws cannot prevail over the law of land,” said Abdi.
He admitted that “the change in political scenario has prompted Lalit Modi to fight elections because BJP CM Vasundhara Raje had been very positive during her first tenure and we hope to continue with same positive relationship”.