It was Vivek Jain & Co by a head in a closely fought election to the committee of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC). The panel led by former chairman Jain won five of the nine seats to win back the control of the Mumbai race club. The results were declared late last evening at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse.
TRIO-MPHANT: Vivek Jain (left), new chairman Zavaray Poonawalla and Champaklal Zaveri (right) are all smiles after the RWITC election results were announced at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
There were 11 contestants in the fray, six belonging to the Jain group, who took on the five sitting members of the Dhunjibhoy team, of which Vijay Shirke (710 votes) was voted out. Jain once again topped with 907 votes, film personality Milan Luthria (679) was the sole member of his team, who failed to qualify.
In a meeting held immediately after the election results were declared at the 100th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the club, Zavaray Poonawalla was elected as the new chairman of the race club.
"I will try my best to breathe new life into the sport," Poonawalla said soon after becoming the chairman, "despite the bleak future that is staring at us, I am hopeful I will be able to do it thanks to the unstinted support of Vivek Jain and my other colleagues on the committee."
"This proves that maligning and slander does not work," a smiling Jain said as he was being congratulated by family and supporters. Champaklal Zaveri, from Jain's team claimed there is "much to be done, with the Asian Racing Conference (ARC) coming up early next year. We have to start looking at infrastructure in the race course."
Meanwhile, Ashwin Mehta, Board of Appeals member said the of tone this election, "was rather subdued compared to last year," even as K Dhunjibhoy, looked dignified in defeat.