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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

On barbs over Jay Shah’s BCCI move, Sharad Pawar springs a surprise

Jay Shah’s nomination to be BCCI secretary and minister Anurag Thakur’s brother Arun Dhumal pitch to take over as the board’s treasurer had triggered some buzz on social media, mostly over family members of politicians trying to control a sports body.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2019 17:03 IST
Sunetra Choudhury
Sunetra Choudhury
Hindustan Times, Shirdi
Sharad Pawar defended the role of politicians in sports bodies such as the BCCI - he was the BCCI chairman between 2005 and 2008
Sharad Pawar defended the role of politicians in sports bodies such as the BCCI - he was the BCCI chairman between 2005 and 2008 (HT Photo)
         

Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar, who is leading his party’s campaign against the BJP-Shiv Sena combine for the Maharashtra state elections, on Tuesday distanced himself from barbs hurled at Home Minister Amit Shah after son Jay Shah threw in his hat to become the Indian cricket board secretary.

Jay Shah’s nomination to be BCCI secretary and minister Anurag Thakur’s brother Arun Dhumal pitch to take over as the board’s treasurer had triggered some buzz on social media, mostly over family members of politicians trying to control a sports body. Former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti was among those who hurled a dart at the home minister.

Pawar said he had heard some concerns about family members coming in politics and there was a section that was criticising it. “It is all right,” said the 78-year-old veteran politician who has also led the powerful cricketing body, Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI.

 Watch | ‘Ganguly has good cricketing & administrative experience’: Sharad Pawar

“Ultimately. it is the responsibility of every state association- they select their colleagues and leaders and that team selects their office bearers of the BCCI. So from that aspect, I had not seen the news, I just heard about Sourav Ganguly, other names I had not seen also. If they are selected, elected by their own bodies, how can I oppose?” Pawar said.

Pawar also defended the role of politicians in sports bodies such as the BCCI - he was the BCCI chairman between 2005 and 2008 - and explained how he had left decisions on the game to be taken by an empowered committee of cricketers and only focused on administrative and related affairs.

Pawar’s soft approach on the row over the new BCCI team comes at a time his party is in the middle of a bitter campaign against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena coalition. The three-time chief minister of Maharashtra had recently taken on the authorities when confronted with a money-laundering probe in connection with financial irregularities to the tune of Rs.25,000 crore at Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank. The veteran leader decided to visit the ED office in Mumbai but then dropped his plan after he was requested by the federal investigating agency and the Mumbai police commissioner to not go through with it.