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Patel: I did what I had to do
- Pawar’s colleague played a key role

Calcutta: The suave Union civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, couldn’t pull it off last year but probably played the biggest behind-the-scenes role in party chief and fellow Union minister Sharad Pawar’s win in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elections on Tuesday.

Patel, though, didn’t wish to talk about his contribution.

“I knew what my responsibilities were and did what I had to... Of course, this victory is different from a political win, but I’m happy that Mr Pawar is now in a position to stop the mess that’s there in the BCCI,” Patel told The Telegraph.

Asked whether he may himself have some role to play in the BCCI, Patel laughed: “No... No... I’ve got nothing to do with cricket. Everybody knows Mr Pawar’s reputation as an administrator and there’s no need for me to get involved.”

Patel felt Jagmohan Dalmiya, who spearheaded the campaign to keep Pawar out, would be hard pressed to keep his already shrunk flock together.

“Mr Pawar got two votes more than his panel’s candidates. In seeking to identify them, Dalmiya ' against whom there’s nothing personal, mind you ' is bound to get suspicious about ten! He had this habit of sowing confusion. Today, he has not only been defeated, but left confused,” Patel maintained.

Patel, incidentally, left for New Delhi (on a special flight) soon after the Nationalist Congress Party supremo avenged the casting vote-defeat of 2004. “I didn’t have a vote here, but I’ve got to vote in the Rajya Sabha this evening,” he informed.

Vote or not, Patel counts.

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