MCA polls: It's a different kind of cricket at Wankhede today

It will be clear today whether the efforts of Pawar-Mahaddalkar group or Cricket First panel are fruitful when the results of Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) biennial elections are declared after voting ends at 6.15pm.

Both groups campaigned fiercely for over a month, meeting voters in various parts of Mumbai. Whether their pleas have touched the 329 voters will be known today. Five voters will be absent for today's voting, MCA officials informed. The election fervour reached its crescendo when Dr Vijay Patil, head of the Cricket First panel, took the decision to take on Sharad Pawar, who was elected unopposed as president in the 2013 elections.

No quarter given
One expects a tough battle for the top post. Pawar has sensed that the challenge from Patil cannot be taken lightly and the veteran politician is leaving no stone unturned to garner enough support from the voters. Pawar meeting voters and calling them personally for support is a good enough indication that Patil also enjoys a massive following in the MCA. In the 2011 elections, Patil became the first independent candidate in MCA's history to be elected as vice-president.

Vijay Patil's fine record
In 2013, Patil was showered with the highest number of votes for the same post. And now with the Shiv Sena backing the Cricket First panel fully, Patil & Co expect to turn the tables this time. The Pawar-Mahaddalkar group may have majority in the office-bearers, but out of the 11 Managing Committee berths, Cricket First candidates are expected to stamp their authority over the opposition.

According to an opinion poll, a group of voters expect overwhelming support for Cricket First group and former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar, who is contesting for the vice-president's post from the Pawar-Mahaddalkar group. As per the opinion poll, Ravi Savant, who was the MCA president for around a year after Vilasrao Deshmukh expired in 2012 and is head of the Bal Mahaddalkar group, will have to give his all as far as his contest for the Joint Secretary's post is concerned.

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