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Executive committee members seek to curtail DDCA boss Rajat Sharma’s powers

A DDCA official said that Rajat Sharma and the directors had fallen out during the ongoing IPL.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 23, 2019 11:14:40 am
DDCA President Rajat Sharma. (Source: File)

Ten of the 16 members of the executive committee of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) have called for the withdrawal of powers bestowed on president Rajat Sharma for the day-to-day running of the state body. The directors have also signed on a resolution, which was circulated on Sunday, demanding the termination of the contract of chief operating officer (COO) GR Saxena, one of the professionals appointed by Sharma’s panel, which was voted to power in July last year.

“Resolved that the power to the president which was accorded to him on 2/07/2018 by the board of directors for day-to-day running of the affairs is hereby withdrawn and all the decisions will be taken by the Apex Council. We further resolve that we have passed this resolution by circulation considering the urgency of the matter and that it may be placed in the next meeting of the Apex Council for taking note of,” the resolution stated.

In August last year, the DDCA had appointed Ravi Kant Chopra as CEO (chief executive officer), PC Vaish as CFO (chief financial officer) and Saxena as COO.

“Resolved that the services of COO GR Saxena be terminated with immediate effect from today and his dues may be settled as per contract. Henceforth, the work of COO will be looked after by CFO PC Vaish. He shall not be entitled to receive any extra remuneration for this,” the resolution added.

A top BCCI official told The Indian Express that the decision of whether or not a functionary like the COO can be removed is for the ombudsman to take. “The ombudsman has been appointed to look into such issues. Directors should approach the ombudsman,” the official said.

A divided house

DDCA secretary Vinod Tihara was one of the members who signed on the resolution. One of the three government nominees in the DDCA, former India opener Gautam Gambhir, did not sign the resolution.

“The DDCA president Rajat Sharma has been acting in an arbitrary manner and in an undemocratic way. All decisions have been taken by one man without consulting the rest of the executive committee or informing the directors. It is not beneficial for a state cricket unit to be run by one person who has all the power. There has to be accountability,” DDCA secretary Tihara said.

The resolution by circulation will now have to be tabled at an executive committee meeting for it to be ratified. “We will hold an executive committee meeting soon,” DDCA director (cricket) Sanjay Bhardwaj said.

Both Tihara and Bhardwaj have been at loggerheads with the DDCA president in the past over various issues.

A DDCA official said that Sharma and the directors had fallen out during the ongoing IPL. “Differences have cropped up on issues such as some directors wanting to harass the IPL franchisee just before the IPL match in order to extract more tickets, which DDCA president Rajat Sharma did not allow. These members are insisting on renegotiating the contract with the IPL franchisee when just two matches are left. Sharma had also learnt that some board members had tried to sell in black the IPL tickets at their disposal, which did not go down well with him and it led to a showdown,” the DDCA official said.

Sharma and Saxena could not be reached for comment on Monday.

In December, DDCA ombudsman Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed (retired) had found secretary Tihara guilty of misconduct for demanding that appointments of professionals be kept on hold and also for asking for the disbanding of various committees formed. Bhardwaj was on an indefinite hunger strike in August to protest against the conflict of interest of members of the cricket committee.

The DDCA had appointed Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra and Rahul Sanghvi as members of the cricket committee. All three resigned just before the state cricket unit was to submit the revised constitution in line with Lodha Committee recommendations.

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