MP cricket vote bar on Scindia 16

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By RASHEED KIDWAI
  • Published 2.08.12
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Bhopal, Aug. 1: Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is on a sticky wicket with 15 of his “loyalist” members in the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association facing disqualification.

Elections for the Scindia-headed MPCA are due on August 26. Scindia faces stiff competition from the Madhya Pradesh minister for commerce and industry, Kailash Vijayvargiya.

Scindia yesterday braved the rain and went from door to door seeking his third term as MPCA chief. While he was in Indore’s Holkar stadium, the state assistant registrar of societies and firms, B.S. Solanki, barred 16 life members from participating or voting in the MPCA elections for alleged procedural irregularities in induction.

The 16 are Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narendra Hirwani, Amay Khurasiya, Sudhir Asnani, Kadir Ahmad, Javed Ansari, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda, Prashant Mehta, Hamidullah Khan, Kamal Srivastva, Abhilash Khandekar, Kanwaljeet Singh, Vijesh Rana, Kirti Patel, Sunil Lahore and Harvinder Sodhi.

Sources said Scindia would continue to be a voter in his additional capacity as representative of the Gwalior-based Scindia School. But former cricketers like Hirwani, Khurasiya, umpire Sudhir Asnani and bureaucrat Prashant Mehta will have to file appeals and get fresh orders from higher authorities.

The Scindia camp is crying foul as the office of the assistant registrar of societies and firms is under Vijayvargiya’s ministry. The rival camp is feigning ignorance and pointing to an incident that happened during the 2010 MPCA elections.

Two officials working in the central excise department, Amitabh Vijayvargiya and Devashish Nilase, had been shunted out of Indore while campaigning against Scindia for the 2010 MPCA elections. The Vijayvargiya camp had then alleged they were transferred to Gwalior and Ratlam respectively because of the campaign.

In yesterday’s order, the assistant registrar of societies and firms has cited procedural irregularities in induction of 16 MPCA members during Scindia’s tenure as cricket association chief (2008-10 and 2010-12).

Acting on a complaint from Leiladhar Paliwal, an MPCA member, Solanki cited association norms stipulating that only five life members can be inducted each year. The Scindia camp apparently inducted all 16 during the 2010 elections, although there are no provisions to keep recruitments pending one year and increasing the number the following year.

According to MPCA rules, each year five persons, including a cricketer and an umpire (having played first class cricket), can be granted life membership. If there are no applications from cricketers and/or umpires, all five persons can be picked from the general category.

Solanki said he had served three notices on these members on March 9, April 14 and June 4 this year. Having failed to get any convincing reply, Solanki said he was “constrained” to act against them.

Some disqualified members considered close to Scindia issued a signed statement this evening, accusing Vijayvargiya of politicising the MPCA polls and misusing his influence over the assistant registrar of societies and firms.

The signatories --- Hirwani, Khurasiya and MPCA’s M.K. Bhargava ---wondered how the assistant registrar could debar them from voting as some of these members had participated in the August 2010 MPCA polls.

While avoiding a categorical response to the failure to stick to the norm of five inductions a year, they criticised Vijayvargiya of lowering the prestige of players who have played international cricket.

The statement also talked about the assistant registrar’s failure to check irregularities in divisional-level cricket associations that are controlled by BJP MLAs and office-bearers in Madhya Pradesh.

In August 2010, Scindia had defeated Vijayvargiya by 70 votes. Scindia got 142 votes out of 214, and Vijayvargiya the remaining 72. The Scindia panel won all 12 posts in the MPCA.

This time round, the Vijayvargiya camp has taken the lead in the run up-by announcing contestants under the Ahilya panel. The panel manifesto has also been released.

On the political plane, Vijayvargiya, who was seen as a challenger to Shivraj Singh Chauhan, is said to have buried differences in exchange for the BJP chief minister’s support in the MPCA polls.

The Chauhan-Vijayvargiya duo are reportedly planning to call on BJP leader Arun Jaitley, an old hand in the BCCI, to seek his blessings and support.

In the 244-member MPCA, Indore alone accounts for 190 members while Gwalior, Scindia’s bastion, has only two members.

Hindi cricket commentator Sushil Doshi told The Telegraph he was unaware of facts relating to some MPCA members’ disqualification. “Politicians’ involvement in cricket administration is destroying institutions,” he said.