Mumbai, Oct 17: Union Minister Sharad Pawar is all set to start his second innings as President of the Mumbai Cricket Association at its polls tomorrow after the candidature of his lone rival, BJP leader Gopinath Munde, was rejected and a subsequent appeal against the verdict was turned down today.
Munde, whose application to contest the polls was rejected by the election officer on the basis of his residential status last Saturday, had appealed against the verdict but it too was rejected, to pave the way for Pawar to be elected unopposed.
The NCP chief had headed the association for a decade from 2001-2011 before he stepped aside for Vilasrao Deshmukh to succeed him till the latter's death in August last year. Pawar is being backed by all three groups contesting the biennial election, which has already seen intense lobbying for all the other posts in the managing committee.
The three panels - Bal Mahaddalkar group, Cricket First and Shetty's group - are headed by outgoing MCA chief Ravi Savant, incumbent vice president Vijay Patil and Cricket Board's general manager (game development), Prof. Ratnakar Shetty.
Savant and Patil are involved in a fight for bagging the two vice presidents' post in a triangular contest also featuring Shetty's panel member Pankaj Thakur. MCA's long-time administrator Shetty, however, has been debarred from contesting the polls as he is a paid employee of MCA's parent body BCCI.
The treasurer's post would see a straight contest between Vinod Deshpande (Mahaddalkar group) and Mayank Khandwala (Cricket First). There are four contestants for the two joint secretaries' post - incumbents Nitin Dalal and Dr P V Shetty (both Mahaddalkar group), Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar (Cricket First) and former joint secretary Pravin Barve (Shetty group).