Dalmiya verdict can give new twist to CAB polls

Published: Friday, July 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Jagmohan Dalmiya will have to wait till Monday for the court verdict, the result of which could well decide the tone of the CAB polls and AGM due on July 28.

Having been thrown out of the BCCI and then forced to resign as the CAB president on the ground of misappropriation of money, Dalmiya was currently engaged in a legal battle with the establishment.

Calcutta High Court is expected to announce the judgement on Friday.

Justice Indira Banerjee did not pronounce the verdict today, though Dalmiya backers felt that his counsels comprising S B Mukherjee, Pratap Chatterjee and P C Sen had represented the case extremely well.

As of now, the B C Roy Club House was exploring several possibilities.

The latest twist in the drama came from Biswarup Dey and Amitava Banerjee, who seemed keen on throwing their hat in the ring for the posts of joint secretaries.

Both were known to be Dalmiya loyalists. Moreover, some of the Dalmiya suporters said if the verdict was favourable, it would allow the man himself to fight the polls. A close ally of Dalmiya though said, '' We are not thinking on those lines until the verdict comes.

But yes if the verdict is in favour, everything is possible.'' Last night the ruling faction officials held an informal meeting at the Dakshin Kalikata Sangha. An official of the ruling faction said though they were not worried over the verdict, it was clear that the panel would wait till the results came.

Saradindu Pal, one of the current joint secretaries, had already made his stand ''of not stepping down'' clear.

With less than three weeks to go for the coming annual election of the CAB, it did not seem improbable for the legendary cricket administrator to stage a roaring comeback. Just when incumbent CAB president Prasun Mukherjee faction was expecting a cakewalk, Dalmiya's backers were keeping their fingers crossed.

If Dalmiya was absolved of the apparent wrongdoing and if his ban was lifted, Mr Mukherjee would have a hard battle at hand yet again.

Although the claim might appear highly hypothetical at this stage, it was clear that if Dalmiya decided to contest, another acrimonious battle was on the cards.

Last summer, the Mukherjee-Dalmiya battle reached a crescendo with the echoes reaching the corners of the nation as the former ICC boss eventually was pipping his younger adversary and Kolkata supercop by a whisker in one of the most closely-followed sports body elections in the country.

The CAB insider said, ''Although there is a good following for the current CAB president, the maidan sentiments are such that if Dalmiya happens to announce some day that he is contesting, allegiance can swing overnight across a huge number of voters.''

Come July 28, the floor will be thrown open at the CAB's 76th AGM at Eden Gardens for elections to the posts of president, two joint-secretaries and treasurer. With Mukherjee at the helm, Saradindu Pal and Amitava Banerjee are the two joint-secretaries and S K Kalyani is the treasurer.

The CAB's 121-vote electorate comprises a vote each from 94 Kolkata-based clubs, 18 districts, eight universities, and the Office Sports Federation. The filing of nominations had already begun with the closing date being July 20.

Dalmiya-backers in the maidan were hoping for the court verdict by the July 20 deadline.

Anyway things were not very placid inside the building across the sylvan greens of the Eden. In order to ensure there was no undesired battle, the Mukherjee faction proposed to the opposition camp a consensus formula.

However, the Dalmiya front had flatly refused the compromise proposal.

The mercury was just rising as Bengal gears for another CAB poll.


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