Unopposed Laloo is Bihar cricket chief

Published: Thursday, May 10, 2001, 20:25 [IST]
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Ranchi: Former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Yadav has been unanimously elected to head the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA), but it could prove to be a sticky wicket in more ways than one.

Yadav's election was announced in Jamshedpur in the newly created state of Jharkhand by Amarendra Kumar Singh, the returning officer for the poll, after no other nominations were received on Wednesday, the last day for filing papers. Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar last November but the cricket body still remains common to both states.

Already, there are whispers of wrongdoing. "The election of Laloo Yadav is a clear violation of the rules of the BCA," said a functionary of the association, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The BCA rules clearly say that a minimum of two years of membership of a district association is required to be eligible to contest the election," he added.

But then, Laloo Yadav's nomination papers revealed him to be the chairman of the Muzzaffarpur District Cricket Association (MDCA) since 1998. Said a MDCA official, "We are surprised by the sensational revelation that Laloo Yadav has been holding the post of the chairman of MDCA for the last three years. Though Yadav has visited Muzaffarpur a number times it was never forcricketing reasons, and we are now shocked to find that he is supposed to be the chairman of our cricket association."

Returning officer Singh will have none of this. "It is not our job to find whether the entry has been from the front or the back door." As far as he is concerned, Yadav's papers were in order, there were no other nominations received and he was thus declared elected.

But then, as the BCA official said, "No one dared to raise any objection over Laloo Yadav's. In fact, all left the ring for the Bihar heavyweight."

Thus, it can now be revealed that before Yadav came on the scene, two top cops were vying for the job, R R Verma, Inspector General (Vigilance) of the Bihar State Electricity Board and Alok Raj, Commandant of the Bihar Military Police. The moment Yadav appeared, the other two disappeared.

In all this, there is the basic question, "Why does Yadav want to head the BCA?" One story has it that he was inspired by his 13-year old son, Tej Pratap.

Pratap has a passion for the game and wants to play at the international level. With papa Yadav at the helm, it would facilitate his selection at the Ranji Trophy domestic tournament level. Once that happens, the India colours would be just a step away for Pratap, skeptics would have one believe.

But then, things might not be all that hunky dory. There is the matter of a corruption scandal, in which arrest warrants have been issued against Yadav and some others. The warrants have been challenged in court but the issue could still take up a lot of Yadav's time.

Then, there is the political angle. Yadav's supremacy of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has been challenged by his one-time confidante, Ranjan Yadav, who was recently expelled by the party. This apart, Ranjan Yadav, along with some of his "friends" in the ruling alliance at the Centre, has also made known that he will move to topple Laloo Yadav's wife, Rabri Devi, as Bihar Chief Minister once Yadav goes to jail in the corruption case.

The BCA job is his, but Laloo Yadav can certainly expect to face bouncers galore as he takes guard.

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