Expect the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) boardroom to turn into a political battlefield after BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s nomination papers were rejected, paving the way for the unopposed election of NCP chief and Union Minister Sharad Pawar as president. Munde said that he would now raise issues of alleged mismanagement in the future meetings.
After losing out to Pawar on the basis that he was not a permanent resident of Mumbai, Munde held nothing back and slammed Pawar, saying that the MCA had become ‘the fiefdom of Sharad Pawar’, adding that his papers were rejected to ensure that Pawar was elected unopposed.
The leader also announced that he was going to challenge the decision in the city civil court. Munde said that his papers had been rejected even though he had submitted a list of proofs such as his passport, PAN card and Income Tax returns that stated he was a resident of Mumbai. According to MCA rules, onlya Mumbai resident can become a governing member of the cricketing body. The former Maharashtra deputy chief minister said he would seek ‘natural justice’ and would challenge the decision in the city civil court.
“If Vilasrao Deshmukh got justice, why not me?” he asked. “There is no impartial election taking place here. I demand that the MCA president’s election should be set aside. The court should order it to be held again,” Munde said. Incidentally, Deshmukh’s nomination papers were accepted even though he was a resident of Babhalgaon in Latur district. An objection was turned down during the MCA elections held in 2011.
And while Munde was the candidate of a section within the Congress that used to support ex-CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, Pawar was being backed by three panels led by Bal Mahaddalkar, Vijay Patil and Prof Ratnakar Shetty.
Reacting to Munde’s outburst, NCP said it was the beginning of his downfall. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The downfall has begun with the rejection of his (Munde’s) application.... His political career has suffered a setback.”
Malik also claimed that Munde would be unable to contest the next Lok Sabha election, following his admission at a public function a few weeks ago, that he had spent Rs 8 crore on his campaign in 2009.