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Question hour for Dalmiya

- Two Trinamul MPs and four ministers attend AGM

Calcutta: The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)’s 83rd annual general meeting was expected to be a regulation affair but turned a little sour once state minister Subrata Mukherjee raised questions in what he felt was a technical breach on the part of its president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Mukherjee, who represented Ballygunge United, raised the issue once Dalmiya declared himself as the president at the start of the meeting. Mukherjee, who was attending his first AGM at the CAB, felt that in a parliamentary democracy the name of the president has

to be proposed and then backed by its members.

According to sources, Dalmiya stated that this was not a declaration but an announcement. The members also came to Dalmiya’s defence saying that the CAB was guided by the West Bengal Societies Registration Act and the president was empowered to act accordingly. The house then gave Dalmiya the go ahead to conduct the proceedings.

According to a senior CAB official, the president vacates the chair only when there’s a contest for the post. It happened in 2012 when one of the vice-presidents took charge.

“It was decided on July 19, the last day of filing of nominations, that there would be no contest. So the president was fully empowered to make an announcement on the floor of the house,” the official said.

Dalmiya was forthcoming on the issue. “I acted according to the rules and regulations of the constitution. I was only acting within my duties and powers of the president… If anyone has any query, it can always be discussed,” said the veteran administrator.

Mukherjee, who was also inducted into the working committee, said: “I raised a few issues and hopefully the CAB will consider it in the near future.”

Dalmiya also hoped to team up with Sourav Ganguly, who was formally included as the joint secretary, for the betterment of the game. The former India captain will take charge once he returns after the third Test.

“I think it’s a very good development… When I was the BCCI president, he was the captain of the Indian team. As a team, we’ve worked very well. I feel this team will work well again,” Dalmiya said.

“He has told us that he would be able to devote time… Be it captaincy or work related to administration, he has done exceedingly well in the past. We’re hopeful…”

The AGM also saw the presence of four state ministers.

Besides Mukherjee, the ministers present were Arup Roy (Howrah DSA), Jyotipriyo Mullick (Calcutta University) and Aroop Biswas (Tollygunge Agragami). Members of Parliament Subrata Bakshi (Lok Sabha), representing Bhowanipore, and Srinjoy Bose (Rajya Sabha), representing Mohun Bagan, attended the AGM.

MLAs Shilbhadra Datta and Asit Majumder were also there.

Asked about the presence of eight members of the ruling party at the AGM, Dalmiya said: “This question is uncalled for… In a democracy, anyone can come and represent any club… This has got nothing to do with the association.”

Besides Sourav, Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla also stepped into administration representing Howrah Salkia Friends at the AGM. “It’s really a very good move. Dada’s entry into CAB as a joint-secretary will give Indian cricket a new voice,” he said.

The AGM saw participation of 120 affiliated units out of 121. Bankura DSA was absent.