The recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee may have put an end to proxy voting in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), but ruling by proxy may still continue. That is evident from the number of wives and sons in the fray for the state body polls due on June 30.
According to the ‘final list of nominations’, BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna’s wife Shashi Khanna is contesting for the post of vice-president. CK Khanna was a vice-president of the DDCA before court-appointed administrator Justice Vikramajit Sen took charge.
Pushpendra Chauhan, the younger brother of former India Test opener Chetan Chauhan, has thrown his hat in the ring for the post of joint secretary. Chetan was DDCA vice- president during the previous regime.
Rajan Manchanda, younger brother of former treasurer Ravinder Manchanda, is contesting to be the joint secretary as part of ‘Team Rajat Sharma’. Rakesh Bansal, younger brother of former DDCA president Sneh Bansal, is also in the fray for the post of vice-president.
The candidate list for the newly-created post of woman director also reeks of family connections of previous officer-bearers. Renu Khanna is the wife of Anil Khanna, who has been a general secretary of the DDCA, while Saroj Katyal is the wife of a former sports working committee member.
Incidentally, Sneh Bansal and Anil Khanna were suspended from the DDCA following allegations of financial misappropriation.
The ‘family’ connections extend to other candidates too, including Nitin Gupta (director), Apurv Jain (director), Alok Mittal (director) and Puneet Sharma (director). All of them are sons of former DDCA officials, making the polls a distinctly family affair.
The DDCA elections are being held after implementing the Lodha panel reforms but by fielding family members, former office-bearers have seemingly found a way around the three-year cooling-off period.
On Monday evening, former treasurer Ravinder Manchanda hosted a meet and greet dinner party for voting members of the DDCA to announce the candidature list, which included editor-in-chief of India TV Rajat Sharma, at the Roshanara Club.
Sharma promised a ‘corruption-free’ and ‘transparent’ DDCA. “I will ensure that DDCA is run in a professional manner. A CEO will be appointed and transparency will be maintained. Every single penny will be accounted for,” Sharma said.
However, he refused to comment on the ‘family connections’ of candidates.
Chetan Chauhan, the Uttar Pradesh sports minister, said it was a collective decision of a group of members to ask his brother to contest. “My brother has been a member of the DDCA since the early 1980s and he was also a wicketkeeper-batsman at the college level. A group of members advised him to contest for elections. Being a former office-bearer of the DDCA, I will be able to guide him properly in order to ensure that cricket is given priority in Delhi. I cannot vouch for other candidates who are related to those who were in the DDCA earlier, but my brother has the best interest of the game and members at heart,” Chauhan said.
Former India all-rounder Madan Lal is contesting for the post of president and will be up against Rajat Sharma, Vikas Singh and Ravi Gupta. Lal’s panel comprises Shashi and Pushpendra. On Wednesday evening, Lal’s panel called ‘Team Trustworthy’ released their ‘vision document’. Lal insisted that both Shashi and Pushpendra were ideal choices for the post of vice-president and joint secretary respectively. “Both of them have a clean record and are willing to work for the upliftment of DDCA and cricket. I am confident that they will be excellent administrators,” Lal said.
That former office-bearers have managed to get around the Lodha recommendations by getting their family members to contest the polls is not lost on Justice Sen, but the court-appointed administrator hoped that decision-making will not be influenced and the new office-bearers will be accountable.
“Although the reforms set in by the Supreme Court and High Court are in principle not being violated, the entire spirit of the reforms was to ensure the prevention of entrenched interests. Unfortunately, DDCA has not been circumspect about its membership. I hope that the future management will prioritise granting memberships to those persons related to cricket rather to persons who will secure them votes. I am hopeful that the conflict-of-interest rules as formulated by the Supreme Court would encourage free and impartial decision-making by the new management,” he told The Indian Express via email. “If there is accountability, then friends and family aside, DDCA will hopefully remain on track.”
All in the family
Shashi Khanna: Wife of former DDCA vice president CK Khanna.
Rakesh Bansal: Brother of former DDCA president Sneh Bansal
Alok Mittal: Son of Brij Mohan Gupta, former DDCA director.
Nitin Gupta: Son of Ganga Prasad Gupta, former DDCA joint secretary.
Apurv Jain: Son of former DDCA joint secretary Ravi Jain.
Puneet Sharma: Son of former DDCA director Ajay Sharma.
Saroj Katyal: Wife of former sports working committee member of DDCA, Ashok Katyal.
Renu Khanna: Wife of Anil Khanna, former DDCA general secretary.
Pushpendra Chauhan: Brother of former DDCA vice president Chetan Chauhan.
Rajan Manchanda: Brother of former DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda.