Union minister Rajeev Shukla’s resignation as the T20 league chief appeared to have come as a relief both for him and the Congress party.
There was a deep disquiet within the party over the T20 league spot-fixing scandal and many leaders felt it was becoming increasingly difficult to insulate Shukla from the controversy.
Mindful of the public outrage over the scandal, the Congress has decided to go with the popular mood of cleansing the state of affairs of cricket administration in the country.
At a meeting of Congress leaders authorised to participate on debates and discussions on TV channels last week, the top leadership had categorically told them that the scandal had hurt the nation and the party supported the popular sentiment.
There were also reports that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was pushing for Shukla’s exit from the union council of ministers but sources close to him strongly denied any such move. “Gandhi has no interest in BCCI or IPL matters,” said a source.
By opting out, Shukla appeared to have put an end to a whispering campaign against him and also saved the party from answering uncomfortable queries on the entire scandal.
But some Congress leaders pointed out that Shukla’s resignation move was “well calculated” as he not only warded off a potential threat to his continuance as a minister but also took a “moral high ground” on the issue.
Shukla’s tenure was to end in September and no major T20 league activity is expected in the near future, sources said, adding he had actually lost nothing by resigning after the current season was already over.