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Board hands Pawar power over Dalmiya

Calcutta, April 9: Nineteen months after his casting vote stopped Sharad Pawar from becoming the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president on his first attempt, Jagmohan Dalmiya’s own fate is in Pawar’s hands.

The working committee (packed with men opposed to Dalmiya), which met in Mumbai today, left it to the president to take “suitable action”. An FIR has already been lodged there.

Even though Mumbai police are still investigating, a big majority called for the former president’s head this afternoon itself. Among other things, Dalmiya is accused of misappropriating over Rs 21 lakh from the 1996 World Cup funds.

That tournament was co-hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Dalmiya, at that time, wielded the maximum influence and a year later went on to head the International Cricket Council.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, two vice-presidents (Shashank Manohar and Lalit Modi), treasurer N. Srinivasan and former president Inderjit Singh Bindra were “most aggressive” in the working committee.

Had the BCCI’s constitution allowed disciplinary action by the working committee, Dalmiya may have been suspended (pending inquiry) today.

Pawar, one understands, could (a) refer the issue to the three-member disciplinary committee chaired by him or (b) suspend Dalmiya, pending inquiry.

While no time frame has been set, sources indicated Pawar could act within 24 hours.

Two vice-presidents are also on the disciplinary committee ' Manohar (Central) and Chirayu Amin (West). Amin isn’t as vocal as Manohar, but is anti-Dalmiya.

“Mr Pawar didn’t comment when there was a cry for Dalmiya’s head' Later, he told members that he would be guided by an internal communication forwarded to him by the treasurer,” a source said.

Given Srinivasan’s stand, that’s likely to damn Dalmiya even more.

Dalmiya, by the way, stayed away and the Cricket Association of Bengal was represented by former joint-secretary Chitrak Mitra.

Mitra “fought” for a couple of hours, but in vain. Pawar, incidentally, gave him “ample opportunity” to plead Dalmiya’s case.

Except K.P. Kajaria (vice-president from East), the remaining eight office-bearers are opposed to Dalmiya. Then, of the 14 affiliates on the working committee, he can’t count on the support of more than five.

It’s not difficult understanding how a big majority tore into the one-time supremo this afternoon.

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