|Srinivasan in Calcutta on Sunday. (PTI)
Calcutta, Sept. 1: Unfazed by everything that has happened over the past three-plus months, Narayanswamy Srinivasan intends seeking a third year as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president under the two-plus-one provision.
Even if Srinivasan didn’t say so in as many words to all present during this afternoon’s emergent working committee meeting here, nobody The Telegraph spoke to came away with a different impression.
Of course, the script would change if the Supreme Court passes an adverse order on September 11, when the Cricket Association of Bihar matter comes up again.
Srinivasan didn’t chair the meeting, but in the latest of the unusual goings-on in the BCCI, he was invited to “perform his constitutional and statutory functions”.
Accordingly, Srinivasan sat to the left of interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who chaired the meeting.
It didn’t come to that, but a lawyer was at hand to “interpret” anything contentious.
Because of the interim arrangement, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had to propose that Dalmiya sit in the chair. The vice-president from Central, Sudhir Dabir, seconded.
On the face of it, all rather dramatic.
One of the well-placed sources said that Srinivasan was “already” in the room when Dalmiya “invited” him to perform the functions of an elected president.
Apparently, this part was finalised behind closed doors by Srinivasan, Dalmiya and Union minister Rajeev Shukla, a former vice-president of the BCCI, in the hour before the meeting.
Another well-placed source pointed out that Srinivasan had been “rather desperate” to chair the meeting, but was persuaded by the senior-most vice-president, Arun Jaitley (who stayed put in New Delhi), and Shukla not to do so.
“Jaitley and Shukla emphasised that nothing had changed between August 2, when the last emergent working committee meeting was to have been held, and now.… So, Dalmiya should be allowed to discharge the day-to-day functions till the AGM.… Srinivasan had to go along,” the well-placed source said.
Both Jaitley (the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha) and Shukla are heavyweights.
That there was a definite move to maintain status quo was reported in these columns this morning.
As per Srinivasan’s wishes, the AGM will be held in Chennai, his home turf, on September 29. Being the elected president, he’ll be in the chair, which is significant as he would have a casting vote too.
The AGM is likely to be preceded by an SGM to take a call on the disciplinary committee’s report on Lalit Kumar Modi, former vice-president of the BCCI and the IPL’s first supremo.
Modi has parked himself in London ever since his removal more than three years ago.
Generally, Srinivasan himself sounded confident during a brief interaction with the media as he was leaving Taj Bengal. “I was always relieved, I really don’t understand what the problem is. I’ve done nothing wrong.… Is there any accusation or case against me?”
Sure, there’s no charge against Srinivasan, but son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan stands accused of betting and the conflict of interest bit vis-a-vis the Chennai Super Kings continues to dog him.
Yet, Srinivasan looks to be on a strong wicket. So much so that while Dalmiya chaired this afternoon’s meeting, many revealed that it had actually been “conducted” by Srinivasan!
Srinivasan hasn’t just survived.