CHENNAI: Their defence and defiance blunted, the N Srinivasan camp is urgently chalking up a plan B, an agreeable arrangement that wouldn’t entirely obliterate their clout and works best for them. So whatever be the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing on Monday, they would informally discuss their plans and strategies at a meeting next week.
“The picture doesn’t look rosy for Srinivasan. Though those were only observations and not orders, the court has come down heavily on him and they also want the polls to be held as per schedule. So, in the present scenario it would be difficult on the BCCI to further defend his case. And then there is damage control. We have to work on that. So there will be an informal meeting of several members after the hearing. When and where it will happen is not yet decided. It maybe even through Skype,” informed a top BCCI functionary, who belongs to the Srinivasan camp.
He defended the BCCI’s perceived lack of inaction against those mentioned in the Justice Mudgal Committee report, which the SC bench lambasted on Thursday’s hearing.
“The matter is sub-judiced. Moreover, we are the respondents. So how can we punish somebody? It would look kneejerk. Also, we need the consensus of the members. We had a Working Committee meeting two weeks ago, and the entire floor was behind Srinivasan. The Court now wants a new board to take disciplinary actions against the indicted. It takes time. We will have a clearer picture after Monday’s hearing,” he stated.
With Srinivasan’s reentry an unlikely scenario, the names of prospective presidential candidates are already doing the rounds. As first reported by TNIE on November 21, Bengal strongman Jagmohan Dalmiya looks the likeliest to succeed him.
“It’s too early to say he is the outright favourite, but definitely he will be a crucial force in the next polls. Moreover, it’s the East Zone’s chance to nominate the candidate, and he will have a considerable sway over the proceedings. But I don’t know whether he himself would want it. He is a proven administrator and there wouldn’t be too much dissent within the units,” he pointed out.
BCCI vice-president and Congressman Rajeev Shukla’s is also rumoured to be in the fray. “I haven’t heard about it and don’t know about it. But I don’t think he will have it easy,” he said.
With as many as eight State associations maintaining close ties with the BJP, and senior party leaders like Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah involved in strategising, his prospects are bleak. Apparently, many reckon he doesn’t have the “stature”.
However, as is the wont in board politics, equations might change late. “There will be a lot of parleying. So the equations can change. For the Srinivasan supporters, Dalmiya would be the preferred choice. They wouldn’t want Sharad Pawar or any others. And one shouldn’t also forget that it was Dalmiya who played a crucial role in Srinivasan not stepping down in the wake of IPL scandal.
In the working committee that immediately followed it, there were quite a few who wanted Srinivasan to step down. Finally, it was Dalmiya who salvaged him. Whether Dalmiya becomes the president or not, he will again be a key man in deciding the next board,” recollected a former board official. Cricket Association of Bengal president Dalmiya is too headstrong a veteran to be Srinivasan’s rubber stamp, but he surely is a more workable choice than both Pawar and Shukla.