The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Thursday refuted the Aam Aadmi Party’s allegations of financial irregularities by Union Minister Arun Jaitley during his tenure as chief of the DDCA.
Speaking at a press conference hours after AAP’s second media briefing in as many days, working president of DDCA Chetan Chauhan said, “No embezzlement took place during Mr Jaitley’s tenure at DDCA. Even the SFIO report in 2012 states the procedural lapses which we are already addressing. Also, the time when SFIO report came out Mr Jaitley (read BJP) was not in power, some other party was.”
The construction and renovation work of the Feroz Shah Kotla has attracted a lot of criticism directed at the DDCA. Drawing comparisons with the money spent on other sporting facilities in the country, Chauhan said it couldn’t have been done any cheaper.
“Look around. More than Rs 1200 crores were spent on Nehru stadium, Rs 300 crores towards renovation of the hockey stadium. Similar amounts have been spent in Mumbai and Chennai. We have spent money like a miser, only Rs 114 crores have been spent on construction work at Kotla,” said Chauhan.
Displaying a neatly spiraled file, DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda said there is nothing like the ‘AAP report’. What, according to him, they are showing is the internal fact finding report, prepared by the association.
“What AAP is showing is DDCA fact-finding report. As far as siphoning off of money from DDCA is concerned, it will be probed heavily and guilty would face the music,” said Manchanda.
Insisting that the association has no intention to hide anything, Chauhan welcomed any investigation but the Delhi government.
“We are not under them, we are under the Centre. So they can’t do all this. Moreover, they just can’t investigate, prepare a report and circulate. Without even showing or sharing with us. Even before the Test match, they went to meet BCCI president Shashank Manohar and said they wanted to host this game. The intentions were and are not good. Even then, they didn’t want the match to happen,” said Chauhan.
Rubbishing AAP’s claims that Jaitley is involved in appointment of selectors and other cricketing decisions, Chauhan said, “He’s too busy and important a man to take part in all this. As I said earlier, he’s not involved in our day to day functioning. As far as team selections and selectors are concerned, captain has the voice during meetings. I would say 90% of the process is done by him.’
The former India cricketer was not happy with the negativity for the association and felt they would have done the right things that’s why their players are representing the country at the highest level.
“Humara baccha Virat Kohli India ka Test captain hai. I’m not saying we deserve credit, but we would have done something right in giving them the right platform and facilities. Players from other states come and play here for facilities and better opportunities,” said Chauhan.