Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner and BCCI vice-president, has lost the Rajasthan Cricket Association's (RCA) presidential elections for the second time in a year, defeated by CP Joshi, a central government minister, by six votes. The reverse, on his home ground, will be an embarrassment for Modi but his BCCI post is secure as he is also vice-president of the Punjab Cricket Association.
The high-profile election was marred by a scuffle earlier in the day between supporters of the two groups. Modi had alleged that his supporters were being intimidated and prevented from casting their vote. "Some of my supporters are being beaten up and it is unfortunate," he said. "We hope for the good of cricket people are allowed to cast their votes. But there are goonda (rowdy) elements out here, who shouldn't be here."
A PTI report said the scuffle started when workers of the Congress party, of which Joshi is a member, allegedly objected to the presence of about half a dozen armed bodyguards of Modi on the RCA premises. A Congress legislator asked the police to remove the bodyguards, following which the two sets of supporters started fighting with each other.
Joshi blamed Modi for instigating the trouble. "I am not on the spot, I don't know how these allegations are being made against me," he said. "I only know that the other party went with bodyguards. Why do you need bodyguards when you are going to cast your vote?"
A bitter fight for control of the RCA has put Rajasthan cricket in turmoil, particularly over the past couple of months.
Modi lost the RCA elections in March earlier this year but in September Sanjay Dixit, who'd become president, was removed from power by the Modi faction, which claimed a majority. The no-confidence motion brought in by the Sri Ganganagar District Association was subsequently accepted, and it was decided that fresh elections would be held on October 14. The date was later changed to November 19.
The nadir was reached when cricket teams from both factions landed up for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament in October, which resulted in Rajasthan being barred from the tournament. A scheduled one-dayer between India and Australia in Jaipur was also moved to Vadodara as a result of the power struggle.