By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the green signal to the new dates of elections of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) next month after the warring factions struck an out-of-court settlement and submitted affidavits to that effect. The new polling dates are November 5-8.
Returning Officer Navin B. Chawla, based on an opinion from DDCA Ombudsman Justice (Retired) Deepak Verma, had countermanded the elections for six posts after both felt that the process had been “polluted beyond redemption” due to politics within the DDCA.
The rescheduled process will start from where it was stopped dramatically on October 10, when candidates were to withdraw their nominations till 3 pm. But before the deadline could expire, the Returning Officer announced the countermanding of elections, at 2.15 pm.
Now, the candidates who had filed nomination papers can withdraw their candidature on October 17, between 11 am and 1 pm and the final list of the candidates would be published by 4 pm the same day. The elections for six posts – president, treasurer, and four directors – would take place, if required, between November 5 and 8.
“The Supreme Court has approved next month’s new dates of DDCA elections after different factions agreed to come to a common ground outside the court. Mr Pramod Jain and I have withdrawn our Special Leave Petitions filed in the Supreme Court,” DDCA joint secretary Rajan Manchanda told IANS.
Different factions submitted affidavits to this effect with the Supreme Court on Thursday.
One of the major issues before the elections were countermanded was the fourth item on the agenda of the DDCA Extraordinary General Meeting, originally convened on October 17, which pertained to an issue related to Manchanda from the December AGM. After Tihara removed this item from the agenda, it incurred the ire of Chawla and Justice Verma, and eventually led to the countermanding of the elections.
Manchanda claimed that the fourth item would now be removed from the agenda. “The agenda will be issued again and it will not have the item related to my issue,” he said. He also said that the accounts and balance sheet of 2019-20 would not be presented at the EGM.
While discussing the new dates, the factions considered the festivals of Navratra and Dussehra before arriving at the new election schedule. Votes can be cast between 11 am and 5 pm on each day between November 5 and 8 while the counting of votes would take place on November 9 and the results are scheduled to be declared the same day.
Rohan Jaitley, son of late DDCA president Arun Jaitley, is the consensus candidate of all factions for the president’s post while straight contests are expected between two groups.
The Manchanda-Bansal-Tihara combine has announced its candidates. Pawan Gulati, a maternal uncle of former India and Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir, is to contest the treasurer’s post while Ashok Sharma ‘Mama’, Karnail Singh, Pradeep Aggarwal, and Dinesh Kumar Sharma will contest the posts of directors.
On the other hand, the CK Khanna faction has not announced its candidates officially.