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September 23, 2005
Cricinfo put together the main highlights of the BCCI election drama -- from anxious anticipation yesterday and subsequent stalemate through to the final rapprochement -- as they unfolded in real time.
In yet another twist to the tale, the AGM which was interrupted twice today due to legal interventions, and then resumed, has now adjourned 'amicably'. The elections will be held before November 30 when the AGM convenes again. There will be a review meeting of the BCCI on September 27. The announcements were made by Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president.
All state associations, except the Rajasthan Cricket Association, agreed to the postponement of the AGM. Pawar and N Srinivisan have been included in the board's prestigious marketing committee, apparently as part of the compromise formula worked out between the two rival factions.
The Calcutta High Court has quashed its earlier order appointing three former justices as observers to oversee the Indian board's AGM. Now only one observer will attend the meeting. Following the court's latest ruling the AGM has resumed.
The Calcutta High Court, responding to the latest petition filed by the BCCI, has once again ordered a stay on the AGM. As of now, the AGM stands adjourned till the court completes hearings on all related cases. Meanwhile, Pawar's lawyers have filed a caveat challenging the BCCI's petition at both the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court.
AGM continues in the Crystal Ballroom of Taj Bengal. General discussions are on. Elections are ninth on the agenda.
Even as the AGM gets underway the Dalmiya-Mahendra faction have filed a petition at the Calcutta High Court seeking its adjournment. Their argument is that the three observers appointed by the court do not have the right to overrule decisions made by the board president at least in the conduct of the AGM.
After continuous suspense for the last 48 hours the Indian board's AGM has finally begun in Kolkata. Central minister Sharad Pawar was nominated as candidate for the post of president by the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association.
All of yesterday, the opposing lobby supporting Pawar had accused the ruling dispensation under Jagmohan Dalmiya and Ranbir Singh Mahendra of trying to scupper the elections. With the leaking of Greg Chappell's scathing email on Saurav Ganguly sent to the BCCI to a Bengali daily, supposedly close to Dalmiya, another dimension has been added to the snowballing crisis in Indian cricket.
The AGM assembles briefly with one of the observers -- Justice S C Sen -- in the chair but is later adjourned. The official version is that the meeting has been adjourned sine die and will be held again after the other two observers arrive in town. The opposing lobby has, on the other hand, said that the meeting could only have been "adjourned" if it had been convened in the first place.
The Kolkata High Court stayed the AGM which was originally scheduled for 12.30 PM yesterday. Justice Soumitra Sen ruled that a three member panel - comprising former chief justices of India K N Singh and M M Punthi, and retired Supreme Court justice S C Sen -- will act as observers and preside over the election process.
In his ruling Justice Soumitra Sen has ordered that all disputes regarding eligibility and disqualification of voters for the BCCI elections would be decided by the three-member panel before the election begins. In case of differences in opinion among the observers, the majority decision would be valid, the judge added. According to Justice Sen the entire problem is a result of the absence of specific and clear election rules.
Pawar, who had lost a closely-fought election to the present incumbent Ranbir Singh Mahendra last year, has decided to contest again.
According to PTI, Farooq Abdullah, president of the JKCA which has nominated Pawar, "A good consensus was worked out 15 days back. It was decided that Mahendra will continue for another year following which Pawar would take over the reigns in 2006. The Dalmiya group initially agreed to it but later went back on its word and said that they wanted Mahendra to be in the post till he completed his three-year tenure."
The Madras High Court dismissed a petition filed by a Chennai-based club thus paving the way for the elections to be held today itself.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, run by AC Muthiah, who are opposed to the present dispensation run by Dalmiya, had moved the Madras High Court to pre-empt Mahendra from crucially tilting the scales by being both chair and candidate for the AGM. But the Kolkata-based Kalighat Club, affiliated to the Dalmiya-led Cricket Association of Bengal moved the Calcutta High Court and got it to appoint an observer of its own.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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