हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Bhattacharjee tacit over anti-Dalmiya move

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Kolkata:A day after he stoked the anti-Dalmiya war cry in the run-up to the CAB election, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today remained tightlipped about his surprise eloquence over cricket politics, giving rise to speculations.

Even though forthright in sending across his wish in public-- that Jagmohan Dalmiya should step aside in the battle for the post of CAB President-- the Chief Minister was in no mood to clarify what made him to intervene.

'' I do not repeat what I say, '' was what he said at the Writers Building when asked whether Sports Minister Subhash Chakraborty would be meeting Mr Dalmiya today to exhort him not to contest the election.

Yesterday, the Chief Minister told reporters that he did not want the reigning CAB boss to retain the chair which Mr Dalmiya had been occupying for more than two decades.

Without clarification, the Chief Minister said he also wanted cricketer Sourav Ganguly to take more responsibility for the interest of Bengal cricket.

His comments came a day after city Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee announced his candidature for the post of CAB President, giving credence to the rumour doing rounds for a fortnight that the Left Front Government had sided with the anti-Dalmiya section this time.

Though the CPI(M) had extended support to the Sharad Pawar group in the BCCI election in November last, neither the party nor the Chief Minister himself was involved in the politics for the country's most popular game as much as it appears now.

Incidentally, Mukherjee's predecessor D C Bajpai had also contested against Mr Dalmiya last year but could get only 13 votes.

Last evening when asked if he had the Chief Ministers support, the top cop said, '' It's not good to drop names. The Chief Minister will be the best person to reply to that.''

However, disapproving that a Commissioner of Police should take part in sports administration, veteran CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu wondered what would then happen to police. He also said he had no interest in CAB election. Indication of the Government trying for Mr Dalmiya's ouster came early this month when Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee went on record accusing the former BCCI president of being responsible for the removal of Sourav Ganguly from the Indian squad.

He had also demanded that Mr Dalmiya quit his post.

The anti-Dalmiya move started snowballing with a number of former Ranji cricketers from the state, including Sourav's elder brother Snehasish Ganguly, participating in an elaborate preparatory meeting last month.

Speculations were doing round that Mr Dalmiya had incurred the wrath of the State Goverment for his failure to complete the ambitious Bantala leather complex project in time.

Looking for an industrial resurgence, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Government was banking on this project, where thousands of tanners were to have relocated their units from the city's traditional tannery zones in Topsia and Tiljala following a court order.

The M L Dalmiya and Co, run by the CAB chief, was the developer of the complex, located 15 km off the city and billed to be Asia's largest.

Even though the complex was officially inaugurated, most of the tanners could not be persuaded to shift their units to the new spot, largely because of lack of infrastructure, including the common effluent treatment plant, and high cost of land.

The political move to write the swansong for Mr. Dalmiya in his home turf came barely seven months after his more than 20 years reign at the helm of Indian Cricket came to an end with Union Minister Sharad Pawar nudging him out from BCCI corridor of power.

Mr Pawar was the choice of the Dalmiya detractors teaming up to cry for his ouster.

Mr Dalmiya said yesterday that the CAB election was six weeks away and he was yet to make up his mind. It was now up to Mr.Dalmiya either to bid adeau to his long career as a cricket administrator or withstand another political blow.

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