Mahendra not debarred from contesting: Observer

Published: Friday, November 25, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Even as BCCI rushed to the Supreme Court questioning the rulings of T S Krishnamurthy, the BCCI observer today clarified that he had not debarred President Ranbir Singh Mahendra from contesting for the top post in the November 29 elections.

"I have not debarred Mahendra from contesting the elections. My guidelines are very clear and he is free to contest," Krishnamurthy told PTI.

Krishnamurthy's rulings had led to speculation that Mahendra had been debarred from contesting for the post for the second consecutive year but the former Chief Election Commissioner made it clear that the BCCI constitution did not have any provision to debar an incumbent from contesting for the second year.

Krishnamurthy, who was appointed to oversee the elections after the acrimonious AGM in September this year was stalled, has ruled that should there be a contest for the President's post, the person contesting should be from West Zone as per the BCCI Constitution (Rule 20).

In other words, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who fought and narrowly lost the elections as a North Zone nominee, can contest this time without having to depend onsome other unit from a different zone to propose his candidature.

Krishnamurthy's decision pertaining to the President being left only with the casting vote is being seen as a serious setback for the Jagmohan-Dalmiya faction. Dalmiya had lastyear used all his three votes to pip Pawar in a close contest.

Krishnamurthy's ruling says "the Chairman at the AGM during the course of the elections shall the right to exercise his casting vote if there is a tie in the number of votes polled in respect of any of the office bearer's posts.

"The Chairman shall not have any other special voting rights except the right to vote as a member if he is duly authorised to vote by the association which he represents."

The decision to allow Bihar Cricket Association (BCA), which was debarred from voting last time, would also be a shot in the arm for the rival group.

Krishnamurthy has observed that BCA is not officially disqualified as per records and the action taken as per the AGM in 2004 was "flawed".

The Observer has also taken a firm stand on units which have not conducted elections for the last few years and has sought proper authorisations for their representatives to vote in the elections.

"It has been brought to my notice that Delhi and District Cricket Association and National Cricket Club of Kolkata have not held the Annual General Meetings for last few years.

"While these associations are entitled to vote being members, proper authorisation issued by competent persons has to come, having regard to the constitution of the concerned Associations in the light of not having had Annual General Meetings, Krishnamurthy has said in a circular sent to all the units of BCCI.

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