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Sight Screen

Monday, November 28, 2005

Countdown to the count

The run-up to perhaps the most significant BCCI election in a long while (significant, because for the first time in my memory, it will be run with someone qualified, and mandated, enforcing the rules), and it's already beginning to sound like Bihar in microcosm.
The Hindustan Times suggests Jagmohan Dalmiya and Inderjit Mahindra are playing this on a greentop.
Two days before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elections, his rivals summoned the audacity to announce they were assured of 17 votes (out of 30 or 31, depending on the observer's verdict) after counting out the ones with even the slightest of doubts.
There is reason to take this claim game seriously because the challengers submitted names of 17 BCCI unit representatives together of which they don't expect losing more than three. And instead of trying to win friends and influence people, the Dalmiya camp spent the most of Sunday trying to save their own votes, the validity of which have been questioned by TS Krishnamurthy, the former chief election commissioner appointed by the Supreme Court to conduct the polls.

This is where the Bihar analogy hits home -- members of one faction sequestered in one hotel, so as to stay out of reach of the other:
Pawar, who seems to be ahead on the number game, wants to keep its flock together and not expose his supporters to the danger.
"We've not confined them in the hotel. They are free to move. We wanted a different hotel because we don't want to operate from a place where our rival group members have easy access," said IS Bindra, president of the Punjab CA and also a key Pawar aide. Lalit Modi, another member of the Pawar camp, went to the extent of saying that their members had faced problems from the CAB during the BCCI AGM in September. Claims notwithstanding, the Dalmiya camp looked a distinct minority. Barely a few members were visible on his side. Although all members were yet to come, Brijesh Patel, Amitav Chaudhary, Jyoti Bajpai were visible from his camp.

An interesting example of how confused the BCCI affairs are is afforded later in the above story, where you find a list of disputed votes -- count them, there are six, out of a total of 30.
The Hindu has a story on the same subject; so does the Statesman. And matters should heat up considerably within the next 24 hours, when observer TS Krishnamurthy finalizes his list of those eligible to vote.


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