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State bodies remain personal fiefdoms despite Lodha reforms

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New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) While the Lodha recommendations and the new BCCI constitution inspired by it had looked to reform Indian cricket by getting rid of nepotism among other issues, over two-and-a-half years after being approved and adopted, the spirit of the reforms has been largely stifled or diluted.

While the Indian cricket board (BCCI) continues to work under the leadership of President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah despite their tenures getting over in the middle of last year and the Supreme Court not giving them any protection to continue, there are former heads of state bodies who continue to run their associations through their children and relatives.

“One of the objectives of the new constitution was to bring in rotation or put a cap on tenure to avoid turning it into a personal fiefdom. But that is not getting solved due to the way state bodies function. The system of allowing membership within the various state associations is to blame,” an official in the know of things told IANS.

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The major objective of the constitution was to bring a limit to the tenure to ensure that officials don’t remain in power for unlimited periods. However, many former officials have managed to put their children or relatives into the hot seat and have thus remained in power through proxy.

“Some associations are registered under Companies’ Act where the relatives are registered as directors. Also, in various associations, the system of allowing membership is to blame,” he added.

“For example, in Delhi a lot of individual members were made from among acquaintances of a former president – some of whom had no connection to cricket. Naturally, when his son took over, the transfer of power was seamless. This is there with many associations and you will see in most associations, the membership allows the seamless transfer of power among relatives,” said the official.

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Another official when contacted explained it further by giving the example of Saurashtra.

“In a state association like Saurashtra, out of 480-odd members, 380-odd are either friends or relatives of a former state body president. Worse is that the districts who should have voting rights have not been given any voting rights while only the individual members have. It is only natural that when his son took over, it was easy for him,” said the official.

Unfortunately, the Lodha recommendations and the Indian cricket board’s new constitution does not have any law to stop this. It cannot be brought in as it will be infringing on an individual’s liberty to contest elections.

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A look across the various state bodies points to this:

Cricket Association of Bengal: Avishek Dalmiya, son of the former Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and BCCI president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, is the current president of CAB.

Tamil Nadu Cricket Association: Ex-BCCI and state body president N. Srinivasan’s daughter Rupa Gurunath is the president of the body.

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association: Arun Dhumal, the brother of former BCCI and Himachal Pradesh president Anurag Thakur, was heading the Himachal Pradesh body before becoming the treasurer of the BCCI which he is currently.

Gujarat Cricket Association: BCCI secretary and former Gujarat body secretary Jay Shah’s father Amit Shah was the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association

Saurashtra Cricket Association: Ex-Saurashtra Cricket Association president Niranjan Shah’s son Jaydev Shah is the president of the Saurashtra Cricket Association. Shah senior had held power in the Saurashtra body for over 40 years.

Delhi and District Cricket Association: Rohan Jaitley, son of former DDCA president Arun Jaitley, is heading the state body currently.

Baroda Cricket Association: Former Baroda Cricket Association president for 30 years, ex-BCCI vice-president and ex-IPL chairman Chirayu Amin’s son Pranav Amin is the current president of the Baroda body. Also, in the Baroda cricket body, former BCCI and Baroda body secretary Jaywant Lele’s son Ajit Lele is the current secretary.

–IANS

kh/kr

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