Shukla defends Srini chairing the meet

N Srinivasan, under fire from every possible direction, weathered all storm to emerge the undisputed boss in Indian cricket during the BCCI’s Annual General Meeting that progressed according to the script he had written.

Having ensured his re-election to the post of the BCCI president, Srinivasan wasted little time in getting his men on board to assist him for the next one year. As the popular remark goes around in the Tamil Nadu cricket circles, Srinivasan proved to be a bad enemy to have as he successfully sidelined all those who expressed even a hint of opposition to him remaining in power, including veteran administrator from Saurashtra Niranjan Shah and Vidarbha Sudhir Dabir, both of whom lost their vice-presidents’ posts.

Srinivasan’s worries, however, are far from over. His biggest hurdle is before the Supreme Court, which is likely to deliver a verdict in a case file against him by the Cricket Association of Bihar. The apex court has restrained him from assuming charge, even if he gets elected the president, until it disposes off the petition, one way or the other.

While a favourable verdict will only strengthen Srinivasan’s position within the Board, he has ensured that the remote control remains with him by appointing his trusted men to key positions, including the second-most powerful position of Secretary, in case the court’s ruling goes against him. The new secretary Sanjay Patel, considered a close confidante of Srinivasan, can now fill in for the president. Patel couldn’t do so in his capacity as interim secretary when Srinivasan stepped aside to hand over the charge to Jagmohan Dalmiya.   
       
Srinivasan is yet to take charge but he did chair during Sunday’s proceedings. Rajeev Shukla, the new vice-president of the board, said it didn’t violate SC ruling that bars the TNCA chief from assuming office.

"Everybody was elected as unopposed. Mr Srinivasan chaired the meeting,” Shukla noted. “BCCI’s position is clear that elections take place in the AGM. He (Srinivasan) said that all the new office bearers take (charge of their) positions except me (Srinivasan) because of a SC directive. AGM was chaired by Srinivasan (because) it had to take place with the head (who is the new president). It’s not a contempt of court. He will only take charge after the fresh SC guidelines,” he observed.

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