Veteran cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya today returned as the BCCI President after being unanimously elected at the Board’s Annual General Meeting but the N Srinivasan camp suffered a setback when rival faction’s Anurag Thakur edged out Sanjay Patel for the Secretary’s position here.
Thakur’s slender one-vote victory over Patel provided the only moment of triumph for the anti-N Srinivasan camp at the elections which were swept by the ruling group loyalists at the much-postponed AGM. Srinivasan himself could not contest for the President’s post owing to a Supreme Court directive.
Jharkhand Cricket Association’s Amitabha Choudhary was elected the Joint Secretary beating Goa’s Chetan Desai, belonging to the anti-Srinivasan faction, while Haryana’s Anirudh Choudhary won the treasurer’s position by defeating Rajiv Shukla 16-13.
While three vice-Presidents were elected unopposed, the two other positions also went to the Srinivasan faction with T C Mathew (Kerala, west zone) and C K Khanna (Delhi, central zone) winning the polls. Khanna defeated the influential Jyotiraditya Scindia, while Mathew edged past Ravi Sawant.
The three who were elected unopposed are Andhra’s G Ganga Raju (south zone), Assam’s Goutam Roy (east) with M L Nehru of Jammu and Kashmir representing the north zone.
The road for Dalmiya was cleared after former President and NCP leader Sharad Pawar failed to get a proposer from east zone, prompting the Maratha strongman to pull out of the race.
BJP leader Thakur, it is learnt, won by just one vote over Srinivasan loyalist Patel, a scenario unlikely to have emerged had there not been cross-voting during the election process.
It is learnt that two members did not vote at all, while a third who owes allegiance to a leading political party decided to vote for Thakur.
In the case of Joint Secretary’s position, both Desai and Choudhary garnered 15 votes each but Shivlal Yadav, who chaired the meeting, tilted the scales in Choudhary’s favour with his casting vote.
However, the fact that other anti-Srinivasan camp candidates lost the elections proved that cross-voting took place only for Thakur.
The BCCI issued a press release announcing the names of the winners for each position but did not divulge their vote share. It also said that audited accounts for the FY 2013 2014 were approved during today’s proceedings.
The AGM also ratified Srinivasan’s position as the ICC Chairman, according to a top official.
Another decision taken at the AGM was that Thakur will now represent the BCCI at the ICC’s Chief Executive Committee meetings. The AGM also decided to extend the tenure of the current national selection panel for six more months.
The 74-year-old Dalmiya, President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), was unanimously accepted by all the units loyal to Srinivasan to return to a position he held more than a decade back.
Jagmohan Dalmiya’s bid got a boost after Pawar failed to get any proposer from the East Zone, whose turn it was to nominate the president. The former ICC President had held the top post in BCCI between 2001 and 2004.
All the six state units from the East Zone owed allegiance to the Srinivasan camp when his loyalists met here on Sunday.
Maratha strongman Pawar, who was projected as a possible candidate for the president’s post, had also met his supporters.
Dalmiya’s elevation to the position was necessitated after Srinivasan was forced to stay away from the election owing to a Supreme Court directive, which reduced his role to merely voting.
In fact, the AGM itself was delayed several times due to the legal battle that Srinivasan is fighting in the top court.
The apex court is currently hearing the IPL spot-fixing scandal in which conflict of interest with regards to Srinivasan’s position as BCCI President and IPL team owner came in for sharp criticism from court.