Principal Correspondent

Bangalore: The scion of the Mysore royal family, Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, has alleged that the KSCA’s current ruling body led by its secretary Brijesh Patel, lacked transparency in financial issues. Wadiyar, who is contesting for the post of KSCA president against Gundappa Viswanath, made a series of allegations against Brijesh in the run-up to the association elections scheduled for September 9.

However, reacting to the allegations, Brijesh has said: “It is an election gimmick and the allegations are factually incorrect.”

Earlier, in a press conference at the Bangalore Palace here on Monday afternoon, Wadiyar said Brijesh was associated with three companies that transacted business with the KSCA. “A company called Composite Travels had a Rs. 47 lakhs transaction with the KSCA and this company was actually started by Brijesh Patel. How can you be the association secretary and at the same time award contracts to a company that you run?” asked Wadiyar. “In-stadia advertising rights were given to Sporting Frontiers, a company that had the KSCA’s financial advisory committee member B.N. Subramanya as its director,” added Wadiyar.

He also noted that the giant video screen in the Chinnaswamy Stadium was purchased from a South African company — Stella Vista Technologies — of which Brijesh was the Indian representative. “Brijesh Patel has also launched a company named Stella Vista India Pvt. Ltd., in 2005. It is to be ascertained as to whether Brijesh Patel has derived any latent benefits from this transaction,” Wadiyar said.

Brijesh’s rebuttal

Meanwhile, Brijesh said that there was no by-law barring office-bearers from conducting association transactions with their related companies.

“Yes, I agree that I started Composite Travels but it is one of the companies with which the KSCA had transacted for travel tickets. In fact Tradewings gets more business from KSCA. Per year, Composite Travels would have got business worth Rs nine lakhs but for Tradewings, it is about Rs. 26 lakhs. Now, Composite Travels is defunct and the company isn’t there. You can have a transaction with a company in which you have a business interest as long as it is at arm’s length. There is no association by-law that prohibits that and the managing committee is aware of all these issues,” Brijesh said.

On the second allegation pertaining to Sporting Frontiers and Mr. Subramanya’s role, Brijesh said: “Sporting Frontiers generates about Rs. 1.26 crores in revenue from in-stadia advertising, which is higher than what previous companies got us, and as association members, we are interested in generating higher revenue for our association. Subramanya is part of the financial advisory committee and he has no executive powers. I don’t see any clash of interest. Besides all transactions are approved by the managing committee and the money is issued only after the financial committee approves it. The same V. Jagannath and Ashok Anand, who are in the rival camp, now are privy to all these transactions.”

On his role in the Stellavista video-screen deal, Brijesh Patel said: “The KSCA had negotiated with Stellavista from December 2004. We approved their tender among nine bids from other companies in our annual general body meeting on January 29, 2005, and subsequently the screen was installed in February 2005. My company — Stellavista India, was launched in September 2005, much after the screen was finalised. I opted for that name for brand visibility and my company is maintaining the screen here free of cost. We got the screen for Rs. 1.3 crores, which is cheaper than the cost borne by other State associations for their screens.”

“In fact, all of these allegations were raised by Deccan United Cricket Club in a letter to us in June 6 this year and we replied to that on August 4.

Ekalavya eludes Hawaldar

The State swimming circles were dismayed by the omission of talented Rohit Hawaldar from the ‘Ekalavya Awards’ list announced by the State Government last week.

“It is baffling how such a deserving swimmer was left out of the list though State Association has recommend his name.” said S. Pradep Kumar, who is the mentor of Hawaldar.

In the awards list, only one male swimmer, Aniketh D’souza Souza, finds a place though Hawaldar has stronger claims by sheer performance. He set three records at National Games, and has been medallist at South Asian Games held at Colombo and Asian group championship.

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