In a major embarrassment for BCCI, former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi is set to reclaim the post of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) President when he takes on Rampal Sharma in the state body polls tomorrow under the watchful eyes of Supreme Court-appointed observer Justice N M Kasliwal.
Earlier in the day, Modi received a shot in the arm after a Justice Kasliwal cleared his nomination to contest for the post of RCA President. Modi is pitted against Rampal Sharma, who is believed to be close to the incumbent president C P Joshi.
"SC observer Justice N.M. Kasliwal and election officer B.L. Gupta have given their nod. Modi's nomination will be accepted. He will be able to contest the election for the post of RCA president," a top official in RCA, on the condition of anonymity, said.
The election for 21 posts of the RCA executive committee is scheduled to take place December 19.
With more than 28 districts supporting Modi, it is likely to be a one-sided battle but these developments have made BCCI furious because Modi has been banned for life by the country's cricket board on disciplinary grounds.
The BCCI, which had warned RCA that Modi should not be allowed to continue to hold the post of Nagaur District Cricket Association President and also threatened suspension, reiterated its stand and said that RCA might face dire consequences if it does stop the former IPL chief from contesting the polls.
It was believed that the Joshi faction, who has lost most of its supporters after BJP came into power in the recently-held state assembly elections, would withdraw its nominations but it didn't happen. After the withdrawals, Modi was pitted against Rampal Sharma while his counsel Mehmood M Abdi would be fighting for post of deputy president against Karunesh Joshi.
For the post of secretary, Somendra Tiwari from Modi faction is likely to win against Fateh Lal Tak while Pawan Goyal from Modi's belt was hot favorite against Kiran Kumar Gurjar. There are nine candidates for six post of vice-president and seven in fray for four joint secretary's posts.
Modi, a former vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the man behind the successful IPL, is allegedly staying overseas at present. He was banned for life from all cricket matters in India after he was found involved in alleged financial irregularities in IPL.
A close ally of Modi said that he would win the elections with a thumping majority.
"As of now, he is the only contender for the top post. He has support of 24 district cricket associations out of the total 33," said a supporter.
After the matter came to the notice of the BCCI, it shot off a letter to the RCA warning it with suspension if Modi's nomination is accepted.