Court orders RCA elections on May 29

The Rajasthan High Court, on Tuesday, ordered that the RCA elections be held on May 29. This has made things a bit difficult for the Lalit Modi faction which had, earlier, abruptly called off the elections.

Lalit Modi was elected the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association in May, 2014.   -  Rohit Jain Paras

For the Lalit Modi faction, it could well be a major jolt. But the Modi loyalists are yet to admit that. Rather, they claim it is a good development.

On Tuesday, the Rajasthan High Court ordered that the RCA (Rajasthan Cricket Association) elections be held on May 29. This has made things a bit difficult for the Modi faction which had earlier abruptly called off the elections. The decision didn’t go down well with the High Court, which observed that calling off the elections just two days before they were slated to be held was not fair.

Trashing the decision of the election officer to call off the RCA elections, Justice J. K. Ranka said that the election process would restart from where it was stopped, and the elections would be held within three weeks. The RCA members would be notified on Saturday.

While the cricketing fraternity was of the view that this could be a major blow to the ruling group, which had projected Modi’s son Ruchir as the new chief of the association, RCA’s deputy president Mehmood Abdi sounded confident. “This is a very good development. We are looking forward to the elections,” he told Sportstar on Tuesday.

The last-minute postponement

The ruling group, headed by former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, had called off the polls slated for April 26, citing legal tangles. The two days for nominations had already passed by then, but the Modi group claimed that the registrar had not ratified the proposed amendments in the Constitution as they were not in accord with the prevailing Sports Act in the state. “We had to abide by the Lodha Committee guidelines. Things had to be sorted out,” Abdi said.

RCA deputy president Mehmood Abdi calls it a very good decision.   -  PTI

Door opens for Joshi

The C. P. Joshi faction, which is hoping to come to power in the RCA, cried foul. Ram Pal Sharma, the president of the Bhilwara District Cricket Association was the only one who had filed his nomination for the post of the president. With the elections called off, he moved the court. “Things were not that simple. It was a clear case of conspiracy. It is not right to call off an election just two days before (it was scheduled),” Sharma told Sportstar.

When the elections were announced earlier, the Joshi loyalists were not able to convince its leader to fight the polls. A former Union minister and Congress leader, Joshi had assured the members of all support but chose not to contest the elections. But with things changing suddenly, Joshi may finally file his nomination for the president on May 26. “The door is open for Joshi saab. If he wants, he can file his nomination. The majority is with us and we all want Joshi saab as the RCA president,” Sharma said.

He claimed that out of 33 districts, 25 are with Joshi. “Everyone wants the Modi group to go. They have hampered Rajasthan cricket,” Sharma said.

Results to be kept in sealed envelope

In their appeal, Sharma’s lawyers claimed that the RCA secretary and election officer had taken the decision without consulting the Executive, District Cricket Associations or its members. “That is something illegal and is done to save Ruchir (Modi) from defeat,” Sharma said.

Justice J. K. Ranka ruled that the elections would be held as per the Lodha Committee recommendations. The results, however, would be kept in a sealed envelope until the petitions filed in the Supreme Court are decided.

General meeting on the cards

Abdi said that the RCA will hold a general body meeting before the elections to ensure all goes well. “We welcome the verdict, and the RCA will do everything to ensure that the elections go off smoothly,” he said.