I never asked for Patron~~s post: Dalmiya

Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Claiming that the Supreme Court verdict on the election of Ranbir Singh Mahendra as new BCCI President proved it was "right", Jagmohan Dalmiya today sought to downplay the other part of the order upholding the stay on his appointment as the Patron in Chief, saying it was a post he "never asked for".

"The post of Patron in Chief is for me a great honour, not one of power," Dalmiya, who was the BCCI Chief from 2001, told reporters here today.

"I can tell you that after what I have achieved, from the time I started as treasurer of Cricket Association of Bengal some 20 years ago to being the ICC President, I have got plenty."

"At this juncture (in his administrative career), it is a great honour and does not hold that kind of meaning which it would probably for others. I never asked for the post of Patron in Chief to be given to me, I never manouevred for it. When the post was going to be decided, I tried to be not only neutral but also off the scene," he said.

The Supreme Court today allowed for the reconvening of the BCCI's Annual General Meeting so that the new set of office bearers could take up their posts soon.

The Apex Court however let the stay on the appointment of Dalmiya as the Patron in Chief of the BCCI continue and asked the Madras High Court, which has issued the original order, to dispose the case expeditiously.

Dalmiya said the Court's ruling proved all was fair with the elections on September 29 and that it had ended an "uncomfortable" 100 days for him as he was the acting as the President.

"It shows that the judiciary in this country is existing and vibrant. The truth always prevails," Dalmiya said. "The point that has been established is that the my ruling as the Chairman of the AGM was right, the casting vote was right, the conduct of the elections was right."

"It has got me out of an uncomfortable position whereby I have been the President (although my tenure ended in September) for the past 100 days."

President-elect Mahendra said he was "happy with the Court's verdict."

Asked if the ruling left scope for further court room battles, he said "that is the law of the land."

Referring to the controversy over his casting vote, Dalmiya said, "it is there in the Society Registration Act. Probably the only place where it is not valid is the Parliament.

"It has been exercised in the past 75 years (of the Board's history)," Dalmiya said the President-elect and the new set of office bearers would fix the date to reconvene the AGM over the next two days.

The top priority for the office bearers would be to finalise the itinerary for the upcoming series against Pakistan who were set to arrive by February end.

Pakistan, who visited India last in 1999, were to play three Tests and five one-day internationals.

Asked if the unsavoury sequence of events had spoiled BCCI's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Dalmiya said "it could have definitely been different and on a different scale. It has been dampened."

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