Calcutta: The AGM is still four months away, but the dominant group within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has gone on the offensive.
Obviously, Jagmohan Dalmiya and Co. have been emboldened by the recent court verdicts. Moreover, there’s no harm in being first off the blocks.
Prime targets are the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) ' both are in for a rough time at Thursday-Friday’s working committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
The TNCA, for example, will have some answering to do over its affiliates dragging the BCCI to court on issues which didn’t concern them.
Letters exchanged between BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra and TNCA chief N. Srinivasan are expected to be tabled.
Surely, pleasantries couldn’t have dominated this ‘traffic’ between Bhiwani and Chennai.
The RCA issue, specifically concerning president Lalit Modi, promises to dwarf other items on the agenda.
The lead here has been taken by the BCCI’s seniormost vice-president, Kamal Morarka, who has sought Modi and the RCA’s suspension as the former suppressed information about being convicted in the USA 20 years ago.
Morarka’s contention is that Modi violated Rule 38 (IV) of the BCCI’s ‘constitution’ and is guilty of misconduct.
A former Union minister and a RCA veteran, Morarka’s two-page letter to the BCCI president includes: “'That Mr Lalit Modi, who is the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, is a convicted person.
“He was charged for criminal offences of drug trafficking, kidnapping and assault in Durham County, State of North Carolina in the USA, in the year 1985 and was convicted and further awarded sentence by the competent court.
“Mr Modi, upon pleading guilty to the charges of drug trafficking and kidnapping, and upon entering into a plea arrangement according to the North Carolina General Statutes, got a reduced sentence of two years imprisonment which was executed through five years of supervised probation.
“The relevant documents are enclosed'”
Modi, who is currently in London, told The Telegraph (on Monday evening) he didn’t wish to react as he wasn’t aware of the contents of Morarka’s letter.
“Morarka is free to write what he likes, but I’m not going to comment as I’m unaware of what he has written'” Modi said, when contacted on his cellphone.
He added: “In any case, Morarka has been talking about something which happened years back' He has also moved the Supreme Court and I’ll react when I have to... It’s a matter for the RCA and doesn’t concern the BCCI.”
Morarka didn’t take the initiative in moving the apex court, but has become a party to the case between Kishore Rungta and the state of Rajasthan.
Rungta, who lost to Modi in the last RCA elections, has challenged the state-introduced ordinance (now an act) which “helped” Modi end his family’s hold over the RCA.
It’s no secret that Modi is on excellent terms with the BJP government in Rajasthan.
Morarka’s point is that Modi wasn’t even eligible to contest as anybody convicted of a criminal offence or guilty of moral turpitude is barred (according to the norms) from offering himself as a candidate for any post whatsoever.
He is convinced about what needs to be done. For now, though, all eyes are on the working committee. The Supreme Court too.