Srinivasan decides to die another day
The BCCI working committee meeting on Sunday turned out to be an eyewash with president N Srinivasan agreeing to ‘step aside’ till the probe into his son-in-law’s alleged link with bookies is completed. This came under a compromise formula and marked the return of former chief Jagmohan Dalmiya as the head of a four-member interim body which will run the board.
The outcome of the emergency working committee meeting comes across as a victory for Srinivasan, prompting him to say, ‘no one challenged me and it was a smooth meeting.’ The working committee’s decision came under immediate fire from dissidents, including IS Bindra, Ajay Shirke, Kirti Azad and Lalit Modi camps who variously described it as ‘worse than match-fixing’, ‘sham’ and a ‘foredrawn conclusion.’
While several top BCCI officials demanded Srinivasan’s ouster prior to Sunday’s meeting, at the end of it only one member, former chief IS Bindra, stated he had demanded the BCCI chief should step ‘down’, not ‘aside’. ‘I fought tooth and nail to get Srinivasan to resign but no one in the meeting spoke up,’ Bindra told waiting journalists while most other members dodged the media after coming out of the board room. ‘I questioned the legality of the ‘interim president’ as the BCCI constitution does not permit this. Srinivasan said in the meeting there is no such thing as an interim president, making it clear that he will continue to rubber stamp all BCCI decisions,’ Bindra said.
According to sources, key members including Arun Jaitley, Rajeev Shukla and Anurag Thakur, who were all against Srinivasan till the meeting started, tilted the scales in Dalmiya’s favour besides softening the blow on the president.
After the meeting, Srinivasan said, ‘My decision to step aside was well received and the meeting was smooth without any acrimony.’ Making a specific reference to the media going ballistic over his resignation, Srinivasan said, ‘I can’t respond to the expectations of the people. I took an extraordinary stand to step aside till the probe is over.’
It is believed that senior BJP leader and DDCA head Arun Jaitley proposed Dalmiya’s name for managing BCCI affairs in Srinivasan’s absence. Jaitley also opposed the suggestion that Srinivasan should stay out till the investigation into IPL spot-fixing scam is over.