Stage set for Dalmiya~~s face off with Bajpai

Published: Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Longtime sports administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya faces a challenge from former top cop Dinesh Bajpai for the president's post as the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) holds its elections here tomorrow.

Dalmiya, who has had an uninterrupted reign as CAB president since 1993, is eyeing another term banking on the support he enjoys due to his long innings in what is arguably the country's richest sports association.

Bajpai, former director general of West Bengal police, is fighting his first elections to a cricket body. The retired IPS officer is hoping to cause a turnaround by harping on the issues of match-fixing and Dalmiya's lack of time for the improvement of Bengal cricket.

"'He is too busy with matters concerning international cricket and ICC and BCCI politics. He has no time for Bengal cricket," Bajpai has said.

Dalmiya, on the other hand, said he was not concerned about Bajpai's candidature.

"I am not at all stressed. I have fought a lot of elecions at various levels," he said.

Along with the president, two joint secretaries would be elected by the 121-member electorate on the morrow. Polls would not be needed for the four posts of vice presidents as only four candiates -- all from the ruling group -- were in fray.

The Bajpai camp is trying to capitalise on the reported admission of Saradindu Pal, one of the two Dalmiya-backed joint secretarial nominees, that he had been involved in match-fixing in the past. Dalmiya has challenged his rival to give evidence of match-fixing during his (Dalmiya's) tenure, with his group training the gun on Bajpai for "ruining hockey in the state" as head of the Bengal Hockey Association.

The Dalmiya group has also alleged that Bajpai had tried to stop cricket from being played in the three enclosed grounds in the city's sports hub Maidan area during his stint as city police commissioner. Bajpai has described the allegations as 'baseless'.

Amitava Banerjee, a former CAB treasurer, is the other contestant fielded by the ruling group for the joint secretary's slot. The Bajpai lobby has given nomination to Samar Pal, a long-time Dalmiya opponent.

Pal had tried his luck four times at the hustings for the same post, but lost on each occasion.

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