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Panja comically withdraws from battle

"I never wanted to contest. It was a mistake that my signature appeared in wrong place," he said.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2006 15:57 IST

Former Union minister Ajit Panja on Friday withdrew from the July 30 Cricket Association of Bengal presidential elections, saying that "the comedy of errors" had ended.

Panja, a barrister, who had signed at the place earmarked for the CAB president instead of as High Court Club president in the nomination form, triggering a controversy, met the court appointed observer and formally withdrew from the contest.

"I never wanted to contest any post in this election. It was because of a mistake that my signature appeared at the place earmarked for CAB president in the nomination form," said Panja, a front-ranking leader of the Trinamool Congress, who would represent High Court Club at the July 30 AGM.

"I explained my stand to the observer. I am no more in the race," said Panja, who had a couple of days ago put the blame on the CAB, alleging that a conspiracy was on to prevent him from attending the AGM.

Panja's nomination to represent High Court Club at the AGM was found valid by observer S K Phoujdar during scrutiny yesterday.

"The comedy of errors is finally over," Panja said.

CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya and Kolkata Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee were now the only two candidates left in the fray for the top post.

The controvery regarding Panja's candidature for the presidential slot orginated on July 25 when information filtered out that he had signed for the top CAB job.