|Dalmiya at Bhabani Bhavan. Picture by Gautam Bose
Calcutta, Sept. 19: Jagmohan Dalmiya was today whisked away from home and questioned for three hours by Mumbai police’s economic offences wing, prompting the former BCCI boss to smell a link between the marathon session and the upcoming elections to the cricket board.
“I will let everybody know whether I would contest the BCCI election by tomorrow,” Dalmiya said. The election is scheduled for this month-end.
However, Dalmiya, who will find it virtually impossible to contest this year’s poll because of a suspension from the board and a zone system that makes only a nominee from the west eligible to challenge Sharad Pawar, later clarified that he has “no intention to fight the election”.
“Let me see. We will have a discussion on the issue,” he added.
An official with the Cricket Association of Bengal, which Dalmiya heads, said the Mumbai team searched the CAB office earlier in the day but did not seize any documents related to the alleged misappropriation of funds during the 1996 World Cup from the Pilcom (Pakistan-India-Lanka Committee) account.
India hosted the Cup with Pakistan and Sri Lanka and Dalmiya, then convener-secretary of Pilcom, has been accused of misusing board money amounting to Rs 20 crore. Dalmiya has dismissed the charge as “wild” and “defamatory”.
The Mumbai team picked up Dalmiya from his residence around 7.30 pm and took him to the Enforcement Branch office on the second floor of Bhabani Bhavan and questioned him till 11.
Dalmiya said the move was meant to destabilise him with the BCCI elections just round the corner. “There was nothing new to it. They have asked me these questions time and again.”
“Whenever there is a big event they have tried to harass me. They had taken a similar stance before the CAB elections where they tried to dislodge me. Now they are at it again,” he added.