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Manohar, Shirke meet Jaitley, talks on about convincing Pawar

In a significant development to resolve the leadership logjam, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur and some other top officials belonging to Sharad Pawar faction had a meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to find a consensus candidate for the President’s post following the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Thakur, <g data-gr-id="50">alongwith</g> former BCCI president Shashank Manohar and former treasurer Ajay Shirke, met Jaitley at his residence on Thursday night and discussed the way forward to break the leadership stalemate.

With the news of a possible alliance between former BCCI presidents and known foes Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan gaining momentum, the Thakur faction <g data-gr-id="53">have</g> also started <g data-gr-id="40">back channel</g> talks with key members of the Pawar faction.

In fact Manohar and Shirke, two of the most vocal members of the <g data-gr-id="51">anti N</g> Srinivasan faction, flew to Delhi on Thursday evening to not only meet Jaitley but also hold discussions with other key BCCI officials.

“Yes, there was a meeting that took place at Mr Jaitley’s residence. Manohar and <g data-gr-id="42">Shirke</g> spoke at length about the current situation of BCCI with Mr Jaitley. Thakur was also present”, a top BCCI official told a news agency on condition of anonymity.

It is learnt that Manohar, the Vidarbha-based lawyer was offered the BCCI president’s post for his clean image and being a crusader of anti-corruption in the board but apparently he declined the offer.

“Manohar has always maintained that he has played his innings as BCCI top boss. He does not wish to come back again but is ready to help the BCCI restore its faith among stakeholders. He has made it clear that he is not at all in favour of a Pawar-Srinivasan alliance,” the source said. 

It is learnt that both Jaitley and Thakur requested Manohar and Shirke to convince Pawar to stay away from Srinivasan’s faction.

“Manohar and Shirke were told that only six months back, they had all fought to get Srinivasan out of BCCI. How will it look if Mr Pawar becomes BCCI president with Srinivasan’s support. They have been told to convince Pawar to distance himself from Srinivasan.

“In fact, the Thakur faction is not averse to offering Pawar the president’s post and together they would have the numbers,” the source indicated.

In case, Pawar is not interested in becoming the BCCI president like Manohar, they are even ready to make <g data-gr-id="54">Shirke</g> the president as Rajeev Shukla may not be <g data-gr-id="52">an unanimous</g> choice for the top job.

“Shirke has been one of the best <g data-gr-id="48">treasurer</g> of BCCI. He has always had the image of a tough but clean administrator. He resigned protesting after Srinivasan did not resign in <g data-gr-id="44">wake</g> of son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s arrest on charges of betting and spot-fixing during IPL-2013,” the source also added.

However, it is not known how the Eastern units will react to such a scenario of Pawar or <g data-gr-id="43">Shirke</g> being offered the presidentship since it is their turn.

Some of <g data-gr-id="47"><g data-gr-id="45">the the</g></g> East Zone units are in favour of fielding joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary of Jharkhand as their candidate for the post of BCCI president.
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