Within hours of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi being declared president-elect of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday suspended the RCA, appointing an ad-hoc body to administer its day-to-day affairs.
While elections to the RCA were held in December last year, the ballots were sealed and results declared only on Tuesday.
As was being speculated, the "Lalit Modi camp” won a landslide victory in the elections, with Mr. Modi getting 24 out of the total 33 votes polled.
His nearest rival, a confidant of former RCA president C.P. Joshi Rampal Sharma, got five votes, while four were declared invalid.
Less than two hours of Mr. Modi being elected, the BCCI communicated to the RCA about the “disciplinary proceedings” the former had initiated.
“By the letters dated 4th Oct 2013, 16th Dec 2013 18th Dec 2013 you were called upon to initiate steps against Nagaur Cricket Association (of which Mr. Modi was the president) and were advised that Mr. Lalit Modi being expelled by the BCCI was ineligible to hold any position in any member association of the BCCI. Despite the above letters you have failed to take any steps to prevent the election of Mr Modi as your president,” stated the BCCI’s letter.
“Disciplinary proceedings are being initiated against you for serious charge of misconduct. Your further participation and continued membership at this juncture will be highly prejudicial to BCCI...hereby suspend (ing) your membership,” it said.
While Mr. Modi did not interact with the media, his lawyer and newly elected Deputy vice president of the RCA, Mehmood M. Abdi, said the former IPL commissioner could “easily run” the affairs of the RCA from London.
It was decided during the meet that the RCA would challenge the BCCI's decision in the courts.
“The elections were held under the Rajasthan Sports Act...the BCCI has no authority to take such an action,” said Mr. Abdi.
“We will seek legal recourse... Mr. Modi is in touch with some influential members the BCCI... we had hoped things would have changed after N. Srinivasan's exit but it is clear he is still calling the shots at BCCI,” he said.
With the BCCI indefinitely suspending the RCA, the future of local cricketers seemed to be in jeopardy.
“There are vested interests in BCCI that are conspiring against Mr. Modi,” Mr. Abdi told The Hindu.
Asked who these vested interests were, he said, “N. Srinivasan and his coterie.”
High drama was witnessed during the RCA elections held on December 19, last year, with Mr. Modi’s nomination cleared just a day ahead of the polls.
The former IPL Commissioner’s candidature had been objected to by several parties, including the BCCI, but it was cleared along with that of his aide Pawan Goyal by Justice N.M. Kasliwal, the Supreme Court-appointed observer for the elections.
The BCCI, which had banned Mr. Modi for life over charges of financial irregularities in September this year, had then warned the RCA of dire consequences including withdrawal of privileges and suspension of affiliation, if Mr. Modi was elected.
Hours after being declared elected, Mr. Modi addressed the newly-elected executive of the RCA, via videoconferencing, from London.
During the meet, Mr. Modi said the RCA would set up eight world class cricket academies across Rajasthan.
Mr. Modi also said the next meeting of the executive would be held in London.