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Sight Screen

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Rajan Bala on Sharad Pawar

In the Asian Age, Bala looks at the issue of the show-cause notice issued to Brijesh Patel over the former cricketer suggesting that Sharad Pawar is a puppet:
Someone like Mr Patel, who has experienced BCCI politics as a player and as an administrator would have sensed this. And at the working committee meeting of the BCCI on December 4 in Mumbai he asked questions of Mr Pawar, which were answered by N. Srinivasan the treasurer of the BCCI and president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. More than once Mr Patel told Mr Srinivasan that he had addressed his questions to the president and to stop interrupting. On hearing of the BCCI’s proposed action against him, Mr Patel has challenged, "If they are so concerned about transparency, let them make the audio tapes of the meeting public. Everything will become clear, it was Srinivasan who was dominating on that day."
Mr Srinivasan is reportedly an individual who likes to get his way and seems to believe that he has a say in the BCCI on matters other than finance, probably because the Indian captain is on his company’s rolls. People new to BCCI politics need to be cautioned that the desire for unbridled power can lead to one’s downfall as there are many compromises to be made and small people to be satisfied. After all, it is a matter of votes.
Two of Mr Pawar’s closest advisors have rich experience of how the BCCI functions, having been presidents in the past. But if the politics has to be kept from getting really bitter, the current president would do the game and himself a favour by trying to get the support of Mr Dalmiya and his supporters. In an election one side wins and other loses, but it is always possible that the tables can be turned next time round. Mr Patel, for instance, has proved himself as an efficient administrator and maybe would respect Mr Pawar if he does not become a puppet in the hands of people who have their individual agendas.

It's an interesting battle looming, actually, over two distinctly different styles of functioning -- the first, in which all power is concentrated in one hand; the second, in which various members of a team take on various responsibilities. Pawar had indicated the day he took charge that he prefers the second style; when asked if he would be accessible to reporters, he said why do you even need to call me, I have a team that is capable of handling all matters and they will always be accessible to you.
Question is, can he pick the right team and, as Bala points out, not in the process find himself hijacked by a member or members thereof.


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