Punjab cricket body proposes Pawar for top BCCI post

MUMBAI: Even as Indian cricket board supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya prepares for some legal jousting in the Supreme Court tomorrow, a battle on another front is well and truely joined. The stage is set for a fierce contest for the presidentship of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with the Punjab Cricket Association having decided to nominate political heavyweight Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for the post.

Elections that will decide who takes over from Dalmiya at the helm of the world's richest cricket board are to be held on Wednesday.


"The PCA has decided to give our nomination to Pawar at his request," PCA Treasurer GS Walia was quoted as telling Press Trust of India on Monday.

The development is significant especially since Dalmiya is reportedly backing Haryana Cricket Association president Ranbir Singh Mahendra for the top job. Being sister state units, the PCA would normally have been expected to back the HCA. Dalmiya had initially supported BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley for the top job, but after the former union law and commerce minister withdrew from the race, put his weight behind Mahendra. 



According to a report in the Indian Express, Dalmiya controls seven votes Cricket Association of Bengal, National Cricket Club (Kolkata), Tripura, Kerala, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh  out of a possible 30. Of the remaining 23 votes, six are controlled by Congress politicians who run the Orissa, Hyderabad, Gujarat, MP, Assam and Goa units. Three are institutional votes  services, universities and railways. 

Pertinently, in both the BCCI presidency battle as well as the board's fight in the Supreme Court, Dalmiya is confronting the same adversary in Zee group CMD Subhash Chandra. The reported "open lobbying" for the Maharashtra strongman Sharad Pawar by Chandra is being seen in industry circles as one of the reasons why the BCCI chief has now declared "open war" on Chandra.

It remains to be seen which of these two titans in their respective domains, both from the Marwari business community, comes out the winner in this no-holds barred slugfest.

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