Indian cricket March 1, 2009

Modi loses Rajasthan Cricket Association election

Cricinfo staff

Top Curve
Modi's problems at home
  • February 2005: After a controversial election, Lalit Modi becomes president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, controlled by the Rungta family for 38 years.
  • December 11, 2008: Vasundhara Raje, in whose election campaign Modi played a key backroom role, loses the state elections and is ousted as Rajasthan chief minister.
  • January 21, 2009: A group headed by Kishore Rungta lodges a complaint against Modi alleging misappropriation of funds.
  • January 28, 2009: Modi is accused of forging residence documents to enable him to contest the RCA elections in 2005
  • January 30, 2009: Modi, as RCA president, appoints a three-member arbitration tribunal comprising retired Supreme Court judges to look into the charges filed against him and recommend whether the elections should go ahead
  • February 15, 2009: An NGO accuses Modi of fraud, alleging that a Rs 6 crore (US$1.2million) donation promised after the Jaipur bomb blasts in 2008 never reached the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
  • February 16, 2009: In a bid to pressure the RCA, Modi says the home matches of the Rajasthan Royals could be shifted out of Jaipur. The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur hosted the Rajasthan IPL team's home games last season.
  • March 1, 2009: Modi loses the election to the president's post, defeated by a Rajasthan bureaucrat, Sanjay Dixit, who had the government's backing. His nominee for secretary loses as well and Modi says the state government did "whatever it could" to defeat him.
Bottom Curve

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, has suffered an embarassing defeat in the election for the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) of which he was president since 2005. Modi lost 13-18 to a state government official, Sanjay Dixit, in Jaipur on Sunday.

The defeat is a personal setback for Modi though it will not affect his position as vice-president of the BCCI since he is also on the board of the Punjab Cricket Association. "The RCA elections have nothing to do with Modi continuing as the vice-president of the BCCI and as chairman and commissioner of the IPL," Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said.

The BCCI had appointed Modi as its vice-president till 2011 and IPL chairman till 2013. However, the defeat means that Modi will not be eligible to vote during the Indian board's general body meetings.

Modi, who was close to the previous administration in Rajasthan, was facing resistance at the local association from a group of dissidents ever since a new government took over following state elections late last year. "I paid the price of being close to Vasundhara Raje (former chief minister of Rajasthan)," Modi told reporters after the defeat. "The state government did whatever it could to defeat me."

Local police had also lodged a series of cases against Modi over the last month on various charges, including fraud and forgery.

The dissidents, meanwhile, amended the RCA's constitution with the backing of the state administration and called for elections on February 22. The Supreme Court, however, upheld a plea by Modi who questioned the election process as per the amended constitution and sought the court's intervention to ensure a free and fair election. The court appointed an independent observer to conduct the elections on March 1.

In the build-up to the elections, Modi had said that some IPL games may be shifted out of Jaipur, the base of Rajasthan Royals, this season if there was any opposition from the local government. However, he ruled out that possibility after losing the elections. "There will be no effect on IPL matches; they will be held in Jaipur only," Modi said.

Modi's rise to one of cricket's most powerful figures began with him becoming RCA president after a controversial election in February 2005, ousting the Rungta family which had controlled the Rajasthan association for 38 years.