Before the Special Committee meets, Choudhary says the die is cast

Talking to Sportstar, the BCCI acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, said, “The die is cast’’ when asked what would be the likely outcome at the second meeting of the Special Committee.

Amitabh Choudhary said, “The die is cast’’ when asked what would be the likely outcome at the second meeting of the Special Committee.   -  PTI

The BCCI SGM appointed seven-member Special Committee will meet at the Cricket Centre on Saturday to consider issues related to the Lodha Committee recommendations, which the BCCI and its full members have for long considered vexing. The BCCI has dwelt on the Justice Lodha Committee-authored constitution threadbare and even conveyed its opinion to the Supreme Court (after SGMs on February 26, 2016 and October 1, 2016). And, as the apex court is all set to hear petitions filed by 19 state associations from July 16, the only message the BCCI has sent out is that it’s opposing the majority of Lodha recommendations. Talking to Sportstar, the BCCI acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, said, “The die is cast’’ when asked what would be the likely outcome at the second meeting of the Special Committee.

The first meeting of the Special Committee found itself saddled with a litany of familiar complaints against the Lodha reforms than for the purpose of which it was formed; to whittle down the difficult areas to two or three. The Committee ended up with actually cataloging seven issues, notably— (1) one State, one member, one vote rule that removed the voting rights of nine existing members and gave voting rights to seven new members (2) cooling off period of three years between each term of three years (3) reducing the composition of the selection committees from five to three (4) constitution of the of the Apex Council, and age and tenure restrictions for the Apex Council (5) age cap, tenure cap for BCCI Office Bearers (70 and nine years) (6) balance of jurisdiction between offfice bearers and professional managers and (7) restriction on Government servants being office bearers of associations.

The above points were raised by Anirudh Choudhary (treasurer, BCCI). The minutes of the first meeting that took place in New Delhi on July 1, states: “He (Chaudhary) reminded the members that the only way for the BCCI to accept the recommendations is by passing the same in an SGM in keeping with the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act and therefore, it would be in the fitness of things to discuss with other members’ representatives on issues before moving forward. This committee has to refer the matter back to the SGM and one should not lose sight of that and it is crucial that a holistic view is therefore taken after discussion with members.’’

The report of the meeting also cites T. C. Mathew concurring with the opinion of Chaudhary, expressing reservations about nominating a government nominee (from the accountant general’s office) in the governing body of the State association and advising the committee that the Supreme Court should take a call on all matters.

Naba Bhatacharjee (representing the NE States) said that “the perception in the public eye is very important, that the BCCI is perceived to be obdurate and that it is pertinent that such perception should be dispelled.’’ The report also says that Bhattacharjee strongly felt that the proposal to include new full members should not be put on hold and “the policy should be that everyone is included, but no one is excluded.’’

The members of the Special Committee are: Rajeev Shukla, Chairman, Sourav Ganguly, T. C. Mathew, Naba Bhattacharjee, Jay Shah, Niranjan Shah (Special invitee), Aniridh Chaudhary (Honorary Treasurer, BCCI) and Amitabh Choudhary (Honorary Acting Secretary, BCCI/Convenor).