CHENNAI: Eligibility. This became the buzzword in the BCCI and the state associations on Tuesday, after the announcement of election dates. The states have to elect office-bearers following the revised constitution by September 14. After that, they will nominate candidates for the various posts in the BCCI which will go to polls on October 22.
Welcoming the announcement made after lengthy discussions, some state bodies felt clarification is needed to ascertain who all are eligible. The new constitution makes it mandatory for an official to take a ‘cooling off’ break of three years after completing two consecutive terms. Going by this rule, several state association office-bearers will be deemed ineligible. This includes names floated as potential BCCI officials.
For example, Sourav Ganguly became the secretary of Cricket Association of Bengal in 2014 and was made its president a year later following the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya. Does it mean he has completed two terms? Or does it mean he has one more year to go considering that one ‘term’ is usually of three years? There are cases like him in several associations.
In BCCI, Anirudh Chaudhry has been the treasurer since 2013. Going by the book, he has held office for six years. The other argument is, he remained in the post for all these years because the BCCI was not allowed to hold elections. Has Chaudhry completed two terms of three years each or is it one continuous term under extraordinary circumstances?
In the six associations from the Northeast which were given recognition in 2017, there are persons who have been holding office for several years. Will they be ruled ineligible or should their period of consideration start from the time when these associations came under the BCCI umbrella?
There were questions like these that the state bodies were asking. They are expected to approach the Supreme Court or CoA for clarification. Until then, they can’t start the process of electing their office-bearers and send those names to the CoA.
There is another confusion. The associations of Delhi, Punjab and Assam have already held elections following the new constitution, but before they were formally approved by the CoA. Should those elections be declared null and void and fresh elections be held or should their office-bearers be allowed to continue?
“It’s good that dates have been announced. But until these questions are answered, it’s difficult to take the next step. If CoA isn’t forthcoming with answers, we have to think of going to the Supreme Court. If a unit has already held elections following the new rule book, they shouldn’t be asked to do the same. We also need clarification on the cooling-off period,” said an office-bearer of a state unit.
June 30: Appointment of electoral officer by BCCI and preparation of protocol in consultation with CoA, which will be communicated to all states.
July 1: Appointment of electoral officer by state associations.
August 14: Completion of member list, election protocol and electoral roll of associations by respective
September 14: Completion of elections of state associations.
September 23: Sending of names of representatives to BCCI.
September 30: Preparation of electoral roll of nominees for BCCI elections.
October 22: BCCI elections.