New Delhi: The principle of 'one state one vote' may not be the best democratic thing, the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) told the Supreme Court on Wednesday as it said weightage be given to those engaged in cricketing activities and not territorial areas represented by various associations.
Defending the present system wherein cricket playing states which are full members of the Board for Control of Cricket in India have a vote each, with Maharashtra and Gujarat having four and three votes respectively, senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the apex court bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla that it takes time for a game to evolve in a region.
The court is hearing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its affiliated associations' objections to the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations for 'one state one vote', presence of Comptroller and Auditor General representative on the BCCI board, and ceiling of two tenures for office-bearers with age limit of 65 years.
BCA counsel Kapil Sibal said if cricket was not popular in north-eastern states, it was entirely because it had not evolved there and it was not due to any disinclination on the BCCI's part.
"It may not be deliberate (on part of the BCCI) to ignore cricketing activities in north-eastern states but you have not promoted it," Chief Justice Thakur said while pointing out that a small state Goa was given Rs.60 crore but not a penny was given to Bihar, north-eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir.
Pointing out that there could not be uniform support to all the states by the BCCI, Sibal said: "Any formula must take into account the organic growth of cricket in a state."
Sibal told the court that Bihar was given money but they did not account for it.
Telling the apex court that more than cricket, it was football, boxing and archery that were popular in the north-eastern states, Sibal said, "It is the cricketing activity and not the territorial area that should be the basis of voting in the BCCI (by its affiliated cricket playing associations)."
Apparently unimpressed by the defence advanced by Sibal, the bench said: "You may say that I will at the apex level (BCCI) restrict the participation to certain states and ignore Bihar and the north-east. It is this anomaly that disables the growth of cricket (in Bihar and north-east)."
Sibal also defended the presence of politicians in the apex cricketing body, including affiliated associations, saying that politicians knew the best as how to get things done from otherwise reluctant officials.