Chennai: Veteran cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya was today unanimously elected President of the BCCI but the N Srinivasan camp suffered a huge setback with rival faction's Anurag Thakur beating Sanjay Patel for the post of Secretary at the Board's Annual General Meeting here today.
Barring Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association chief Thakur's surprise win, ruling camp loyalists swept the elections for the other posts at the much-postponed AGM, where Srinivasan himself could not contest for the President's post owing to a Supreme Court directive. Jharkhand Cricket Association's Amitabha Chodhary was elected the Joint Secretary beating Goa's Chetan Desai, belonging to the anti-Srinivasan faction, while Haryana's Anirudh Choudhary won the treasurer's position by defeating Rajiv Shukla.
Jagmohan Dalmiya (C). Pic/ Bipin Kokate
While three vice-Presidents were elected unopposed, the two other positions also went to the Srinivasan faction with T C Mathews (Kerala, west zone) and C K Khanna (Delhi, central zone) winning the polls. Khanna defeated the influential Jyotiraditya Scindia, while Mathews edged past Ravi Sawant. The three who were elected unopposed are Andhra's Gokaraju Gangaraju (south zone), Assam's Goutam Roy (east) with M L Nehru of Jammu and Kashmir representing the north zone.
The road for Dalmiya was cleared after Pawar failed to get a proposer from east zone, prompting the Maratha strongman to pull out of the race. BJP leader Thakur, it is learnt, won by just one vote over Srinivasan loyalist Patel, a scenario unlikely to have emerged had there not been cross-voting during the election process. However, the fact that other anti-Srinivasan camp candidates lost the elections proved that cross-voting took place only for Thakur.
The 70-year-old Dalmiya, President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), was unanimously accepted by all the units loyal to Srinivasan to return to a position he held more than a decade back. Dalmiya's bid got a boost after Pawar failed to get any proposer from the East Zone, whose turn it was to nominate the president. The former ICC President had held the top post in BCCI between 2001 and 2004. All the six state units from the East Zone owed allegiance to the Srinivasan camp when his loyalists met here on Sunday. Maratha strongman Pawar, who was projected as possible candidate for the president's post, had also met his supporters.
Dalmiya's elevation to the position was necessitated after Srinivasan was forced to stay away from the election owing to a Supreme Court directive, which reduced his role to merely voting. In fact, the AGM itself was delayed several times due to the legal battle that Srinivasan is fighting in the top court.
The apex court is currently hearing the IPL spot-fixing scandal in which conflict of interest with regards to Srinivasan's position as BCCI President and IPL team owner came in for sharp criticism from court.