JSCA president Amitabh Chaudhary addresses the annual general meeting in Dhanbad on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey
The annual general meeting of Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) held for the first time in Dhanbad on Sunday saw dramatic twists and turns with South Chotanagpur DIG Praveen Singh losing his membership and a section of disgruntled and booted members staging dharna in protest against JSCA’s “undemocratic” style of functioning.
Singh, who fought for the post of president against Amitabh Chaudhary last year, was terminated on grounds of indiscipline and misconduct.
During the meeting at CIMFR auditorium, 300 members unanimously decided to oust Singh. Although the association has over 730 members, the quorum for the meeting is only 100.
The JSCA management committee had served a showcause notice to Singh after a meeting in Jamshedpur on April 23, levelling four charges.
The main allegations against Singh were that he along with former JSCA life member Vinit Kumar Madhukar from Latehar had organised a “fake” Latehar District Cricket Association election on June 25 last year and threatened JSCA management committee member Sanjay Kumar Singh with dire consequences for interfering into Latehar affairs a day before the polls.
Besides, Singh had been accused of pressuring Latehar thana OC to register a false report against JSCA on July 4, 2013, and orchestrating a case in the SC/ST police station of Daltonganj against Sanjay Kumar Singh on July 6.
“Praveen Singh was given time till May 7 to submit an explanation, but he sought more time. He has been given enough time and has been unanimously terminated,” said president Chaudhary who is eyeing entry to Parliament from Ranchi this Lok Sabha year.
Insiders, however, said that Singh had submitted a summary explanation to JSCA secretary Rajesh Verma, but sought time till May 31 to table a detailed one. When contacted DIG Singh refused to comment.
While the CIMFR auditorium was abuzz with action, more than a dozen former JSCA members created din at Randhir Verma Chowk, 2km from the meeting venue, where they staged a daylong dharna.
Protesters Jitu Patel, Vinit Mahukar, Vijay Kant Dubey and others accused JSCA office-bearers of not following the rules of holding the annual general meeting. “All members are supposed to be notified about the meeting at least 10 days ahead. But, many of the members were not informed about the meeting at all,” said a protester.
They charged the office-bearers of not making the by-laws of the association available to all and amending the rules to suit their conveniences.
The protesters also alleged embezzlement of funds. “According to the annual audit, of the total Rs 40 crore only Rs 90 lakh has been spent on organising matches, while Rs 9 crore has been shown as administrative expenses,” said protester Sunil Singh.
Despite all the high drama, the annual meeting decided to set up a JSCA stadium in Dhanbad for which land will be procured on lease.