Delhi cricket body polls off to a rocky start
Vikas Singh, presidential candidate for the DDCA Members’ Front – one of the three factions in the fray – complained in writing that rival presidential candidate Sharma was campaigning on radio and TV on Wednesday and influencing voters by being present in the polling area.Updated: Jun 27, 2018 23:55 IST
The first elections to the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) after the Justice RM Lodha report on cricket reforms, started on a controversial note on Wednesday with election officer Rakesh Mehta asking the faction led by TV journalist Rajat Sharma to explain why it continued media campaigning on polling day.
Vikas Singh, presidential candidate for the DDCA Members’ Front – one of the three factions in the fray – complained in writing that rival presidential candidate Sharma was campaigning on radio and TV on Wednesday and influencing voters by being present in the polling area.
Sharma dismissed the charges and said “it (campaigning on TV) is not that big an issue.”
The three factions contesting the elections are Vikas Singh’s DDCA Members’ Front, Team Rajat Sharma, and Team Trustworthy, backed by current acting president of the Indian cricket board CK Khanna.
There were heated exchanges at the NDMC headquarters (Jai Singh Road), venue of three days of electronic voting before Ferozeshah Kotla hosts the last round of manual voting on Saturday.
Over 400 votes were polled on Wednesday.
In his letter to Mehta, apart from complaining about Sharma’s use of TV and FM radio to campaign, Singh also claimed “ Rajat Sharma is sitting inside the voting area and influencing the voters and accompanying the voters to cast the votes in his favour.”
The letter added that CK Khanna was present at the venue, campaigning for his wife and distributing campaign material of his group, Team Trustworthy. Khanna said” I am a member of DDCA and here in that capacity.”
Interestingly, Khanna’s group has also complained about Sharma. The election officer has sought a reply from Rajat Sharma’s faction by 5 pm on Thursday.
“The arrangements will be better tomorrow, we’ll improve them and only registered voters will be allowed inside the polling area. Also, we have asked for a response from them why the campaigning was done on the day of polling,” Mehta said.
Former India stumper Surinder Khanna, who is a DDCA Members’ Front contestant, alleged: “There were members of our rival groups inside the polling room who were influencing people. Some of them were not even members. It’s not a level-playing field. The election procedure has failed. How are people wearing T shirts and caps (bearing the name of groups) and campaigning when Tuesday was the last day of campaigning?”
First Published: Jun 27, 2018 23:55 IST