Union Agriculture Minister and NCP strongman Sharad Pawar on Wednesday filed his nomination for the presidentship of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), a day after BJP leader Gopinath Munde did so, to make it a two-way fight for the reins of MCA at its October 18 biennial polls.
"Mr Sharad Pawar has filed his nomination to contest for the president's post," said Dr P V Shetty, the outgoing joint secretary, whose group headed by incumbent MCA chief Ravi Savant has already extended support to the political bigwig and former president.
Pawar filed his nomination as a representative of Parsi Pioneer Cricket Club and it has been proposed and seconded by Dr Shetty and Savant respectively.
Yesterday, deputy leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Munde, filed his nomination to contest for the presidentship fuelling speculations that he would get involved in a straight fight with Pawar. The nomination papers would be scrutinised on October 12 and withdrawals, if any, would take place on October 15.
Pawar's move, after he completed his term as the president of the ICC in 2011, is considered in some circles as a first step towards regaining the top position in BCCI, which he headed from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
Pawar, who was succeeded by Vilasrao Deshmukh in MCA, till he passed away last year, leading to Savant occupying the chair till date, has so far not openly expressed his desire to return to the helm of BCCI.
But, with the BCCI having changed its memorandum of rules and regulations that past presidents too can make a return to their post, this eventuality cannot be ruled out if he wins the election and becomes MCA president again.
Earlier in the day, MCA's polls gathered pace with the filing of nominations for all posts barring one by the group headed by outgoing vice president Vijay Patil, which too has already extended its support for Pawar's presidential aspirations.
"Dr Vijay Patil has filed his nomination for the vice presidentship. All our panel members barring Lalchand Rajput, who is away, filed their nominations today. Rajput will be filing it electronically later today and the physical form will be submitted tomorrow to the MCA," group spokesperson Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar said.
Former opener Rajput - who is coaching India 'A' in the ongoing series against the West Indies in Karnataka - is scheduled to file his nomination for the joint secretary's post.
Ex-India pacer Abey Kuruvilla, former Mumbai medium pacer Atul Ranade and Khanvilkar have also filed nominations for the two joint secretaries' post.
Kuruvilla, Ranade and Khanvilkar also filed their nominations for the 11-member strong managing committee while Rajput is also slated to do so electronically.
Outgoing treasurer Mayank Khandwala, from the same group, filed his nomination for the same post. Savant and his panel members, including current joint secretaries Dr Shetty and Nitin Dalal, would also file their nominations on October 11, according to Dr Shetty.
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