CAB meeting will be a litmus test for Dalmiya

Published: Saturday, July 1, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:The emergent general body meet of the CAB to decide on whether incumbent president Jagmohan Dalmiya would be a contestant in forthcoming elections, could well be a watershed meeting in the history of the game in Bengal.

Even as the BCCI continues with its arm twisting tactics keeping at bay the CAB subsidy citing misappropriation, state association incumbent president Jagmohan Dalmiya will sit for a litmus test of popularity during an emergent general body meeting here tomorrow.

Mr Dalmiya had called for the emergent general body meeting to apprise the members officially on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjees dictate asking him not to contest the polls scheduled for July 22 approximately.

However, the opposition have raised objection on the meeting being called. Talking to UNI dissident leader Samar Pal said, ''The meeting had been called to mobilise personal gains. This is a personal matter of Mr Dalmiya whether he would fight the polls or not. Why should the members be involved in it.'' ''This is not constitutional. Its just a ploy by Mr Dalmiya to get more support or have a feel of where he stands,'' he added.

However, sources close to Mr Dalmiya told that there was nothing extraordinary to be seen in this meeting. ''Chief Minister has done an unprecedented thing and it is the duty of Mr Dalmiya as the president of CAB to apprise the members of the situation. The meeting has been called for that reason. Now if the members want to discuss the pros and cons of the topic in the meeting that is up to them. Mr Dalmiya's duty is to inform the members and he will do exactly that,'' the sources added.

The CAB polls have taken a signigficant turn ever since the ministers of the Left Front got involved in the polls. Finally it was decided in a meeting of the Left Front that Mr Bhattacharjee and Mr Chakraborty would deal with the CAB polls.

The polls also took a new twist as the Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee has announced his candidature as the challenger for Mr Dalmiya's post. A host of former Bengal cricketers have joined the ranks of the challengers, including Snehasish Ganguly, elder brother of Sourav Ganguly. They also claimed support of Sourav Ganguly, but the promised faxed letter is coming yet.

However, in spite of all this Dalmiya might find it tough with the Left Front giving Chief Minsiter Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Sports Minister Subhas Chakroborty to oversee the CAB polls.

CAB has 121 votes---94 clubs, 18 districts, 8 universities and one vote from Office Sports Federation. Raja Venkat will contest from High Court Club, Snehashis Ganguly will contest from Barisha Sports Club, Samar Pal from Aryans Club and Prasun Mukherjee from Police AC. But other than that Dalmiya has a wide base in the clubs and his clout is enormous.

The final twist came barely 72 hours before the CAB general meeting, with BCCI deciding to withhold all its subsidies and payments to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for failing to furnish details of the amount transferred to its account from the Bhawanipur Branch of the Indian Overseas Bank in Kolkata by its president Jagmohan Dalmiya from 1995 to 2006.

In a letter to the CAB, Board secretary Niranjan Shah on Thursday also informed the state association that the Board decided to debit to the CAB Rs. 40 crores its president Dalmiya failed to furnish details of the Account No 1223 with the Bhawanipur Branch along with vouchers, bills, ledgers and audited balance-sheets despite a notice being served to him on April 15.

The opposition have already pointed at the state of affairs in CAB is 'shambolic' and that is reflected in BCCIs decision, which they also termed unfortunate. Mr Dalmiya has threatened to move court on the matter and with another legal barb in the waiting, the general body meeting does look to be cooking up quite a storm.

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