Survivor Srinivasan stumps his opponents

Voices of dissent fade as big man holds sway

Survivor Srinivasan stumps his opponents

There has been intense speculation over the fate of N Srinivasan ever since the BCCI on Saturday hurriedly called for an Emergent Working Committee meeting.

But 24 hours later, Srinivasan emerged the indisputable winner from the meeting, having had his way in almost all the issues, underlining his skills of manipulation and ability to fight the odds.

There were talks about the entire BCCI turning against Srinivasan, and that feeling got only strengthened once three high-profile Board functionaries – Secretary Sanjay Jagdale, Treasurer Ajay Shirke and IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla – resigned in immediate succession. It seemed just a matter of time before Srinivasan stepped
down from the BCCI President post a humiliated man.

But in Sunday’s meeting held at a Chennai hotel, there were no voices of dissent except that of veteran administrator and Punjab Cricket Association president Inderjit Singh Bindra.

“Some members realised only after the meeting got over that they had not voiced their dissent. I was the only one who voiced the dissent and asked for Srinivasan’s resignation. When they (members) were asked for (their opinions) they kept quiet and
only when the meeting got over did they realise that they had let the moment pass.

“As per the (BCCI) constitution it is a Special General Body Meeting (SGM) that should make an interim arrangement. I said this (the day’s meeting) was totally illegal.

Nobody technically asked for Srinivasan's resignation. The members were murmuring and saying things in private. The members either lacked confidence or they were expressionless during the meeting,” said Bindra.

At the meeting that started at 2.30 pm, Srinivasan made it absolutely clear he was not going to resign, but was only ready to step aside till the probe into the scandal was over. The members, except Bindra and Ajay Shirke to some extent, immediately fell in line, handing early advantage to Srinivasan.

The Tamil Nadu strong man then made it clear that he didn’t want to hand over interim charge to former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who Srinivasan argued that was not part of the Board at present. BCCI vice-president Arun Jaitely, who attended the meeting through video-conference, then proposed Jagmohan Dalmiya, a former BCCI and ICC chief, to handle the daily affairs of the BCCI, and Srinivasan approved the move, citing the experience of the Kolkatan as an administrator.

Srinivasan was also successful in convincing the BCCI members that all decisions taken by Dalmiya would have to be ratified by the Board, ensuring that Dalmiya wouldn’t have a free-hand.

Srinivasan’s initial attempt was to step aside for one month. But Jaitely suggested he should be disassociated with the daily chores of the BCCI till the probe was over because Jaitley believed that it was impossible to set a timeline for the investigation of such a nature. Srinivasan was only happy to follow that suggestion as it actually corroborated the stand he was adopting for the last week or so.

Srinivasan also didn’t want to discuss the resignation of Rajeev Shukla, the IPL Chairman, and according to his wish it wasn’t even mentioned in the meeting.

Srinivasan also wanted to represent BCCI in the forthcoming meetings of the ICC, and it was decided that Dalmiya and the BCCI Working Committee would decide on who would represent the Indian cricket board. But as things stand now, there wouldn’t be much opposition against Srinivasan attending those parleys.

There have been questions about the legitimacy of the Working Committee meeting because it did not follow the three-day notice period stipulated by the BCCI constitution. However, Jaitley clarified that the meeting would be approved during a meeting at a later date.

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