Jaitley, (right) Srinivasan
Chennai, Sept. 28: For a change, the news coming out of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) didn’t feature Narayanswamy Srinivasan, but Arun Jaitley.
Jaitley, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and a BJP stalwart, has chosen to end his innings as the long-serving vice-president from North.
But the post is still with the Delhi and District Cricket Association as Jaitley, its president, has nominated general secretary S.P. Bansal to take his place.
While president Srinivasan stays for a third year, the vice-presidents from West and Central also won’t be there 2013-14 onwards.
Both Niranjan Shah (West) and Sudhir Dabir (Central) are out.
It’s significant that Shah and Dabir are close to former president Shashank Manohar, who is anathema to Srinivasan. Friends till a couple of years ago, they are today a million miles apart.
Shah has completed three years, with Dabir putting in two. “Of course, they could have continued... Jaitley served for five years,” a key official of the BCCI told The Telegraph.
Basically, a purge has been unleashed by Srinivasan, who has proved to be as powerful as Jagmohan Dalmiya was in his best days.
It’s all about numbers in the BCCI and Srinivasan has them. Some may get shocked, but that’s the reality.
Shah’s place has gone to Ravi Savant, who won’t be the treasurer any more. Dabir has been replaced by Union minister Rajeev Shukla who has, in the past, been a vice-president.
But the biggest development, in the lead-up to tomorrow’s AGM, concerns Jaitley.
Speaking exclusively, a confidant said: “There are two reasons why Jaitley has opted out.… The general elections aren’t many months away and he’s very short on time. He’s got a critical role in his party.
“Secondly, with his party making corruption such a major issue, Jaitley really can’t be seen on the same side as Srinivasan, who has been hit hard by the activities of his son-in-law (Gurunath Meiyappan).”
It doesn’t help Jaitley if he’s seen as condoning corruption, in whatever manner, and turning a blind eye to a lack of moral values.
Jaitley’s own image is squeaky clean.
Busy in the Northeast for much of the past two days, Jaitley won’t be attending the AGM here.
Given today’s move, it’s to be seen whether Jaitley will be interested in throwing his hat into the ring for the president’s post 2014-15 onwards.
Interesting times are ahead and much could depend on the outcome of the upcoming general election.