BTC mull more membership

Racing

BTC mull more membership
The Bangalore Turf Club (BTC), relieved after receiving the licence to conduct racing activities for the summer season, is considering to accept the government’s demand for increasing the membership at the club.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah, who met the BTC officials twice before clearing the licence, had sought a raise in the membership. Ajit Saldanha, senior steward, said the BTC will be forming an expert committee to decide on the matter.

“It will be premature to say that the club has reached a conclusion on this issue. Right now, our first step will be to form a committee which will work towards finding the best option for us. We are indeed seriously contemplating on accepting the government’s request but before finalising anything, we intend to talk to our stakeholders,” said Saldanha at a press conference here on Friday.

Though Saldanha denied to offer a number, it was learnt that the club is planning to increase the membership to 500 from the existing 350.

Poor weather combined with the licence issue had forced the club to reschedule the race days. Heavy rain on the final two race days in May led to the postponement of the remaining race days by a week. However, no live racing took place in the absence of government approval in the first week of June. In order to accommodate the races that were not held, BTC is set to seek fresh licence for an extra four days.

Fresh licence

“Since we had submitted our old prospectus, we have got the government’s permission to hold racing activities till August 4. However, we plan to hold the cancelled races and the season could now end on August 16. We will form a fresh prospectus and apply for licence. The government has given its approval for the entire season and getting a fresh licence for the postponed races is a routine thing,” said Kantharaj Urs, a BTC committee member.

The resumption of live races from Saturday comes as a breather for the club but it is still not completely devoid of problems. A petition for the removal of the existing management, signed by 41 members was submitted to the BTC managerial committee last week. The BTC chairman Y Jagannath though didn’t read too much into the development.

Sources said that eight members had already withdrawn their name from the petition.

“I thank the chief minister for his timely intervention in (sorting out) the licence issue. A certain section of disgruntled elements within the fraternity are attempting to malign the image of BTC but despite that, we are sure of running the club by adhering to strict protocols,” Jagannath said.

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