Spin great Bishan Singh Bedi expressed anguish at the manner in which former Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) officials are attempting to rule through proxy by fielding their sons, wives and brothers to find a way around the tenure cap and a three-year cooling-off period recommended by the Lodha Committee.
Bedi, the president of the NCT Cricket Association, was also exasperated by the big bucks being spent by candidates to host lavish dinner parties, concerts and distribute gifts in an attempt to woo voting members ahead of the elections scheduled to be held on June 30. “Proxy is dead, long live proxy. In a nutshell that is how you can assess the situation,” Bedi said.
“We need an honest environment, unfortunately that may not be the case. I am apprehensive about these former officer bearers trying to control the DDCA through their family members. I hope that members don’t succumb to the guile of former office bearers who want to push in their relatives and friends,” Bedi added during a press briefing on Sunday.
Bedi welcomed the Lodha Committee recommendations, which abolished proxy voting, but said that the loophole, which former officials have found by fielding relatives, could be a setback to the system.
“I have been fighting this battle for 40 years and just when you thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, you see proxies in human form.”
According to the final list of candidates, at least 10 candidates for different posts are family members of former officials. Shashi Khanna, the wife of BCCI acting president and former DDCA vice-president CK Khanna, is contesting for the post of vice-president.
Among others, Pushpendra Chauhan, brother of former India Test opener Chetan Chauhan is in the fray for the joint secretary’s post. Chetan was also a vice-president of the state cricket unit.
Bedi also questioned the intentions of candidates who were spending lakhs of rupees on hosting dinner parties and concert nights for members.
“Huge sums are being spent by aspiring candidates and if you are investing so much money how will you recover this? What is it that attracts these candidates, who are spending so much money, to the DDCA? They have the purse to spend and members who I have spoken to seem to be swayed by the show of wealth and power of candidates. That is sad. We would want to see cricket taking prominence over everything else. My appeal to those contesting is to put cricket first,” Bedi added.
Bedi asked members to support former India players Madan Lal and Surinder Khanna, contesting for the post of president and director respectively from different panels.
“We are not supporting any panel but we are supporting candidates. We would urge all members to support these two cricketers because if they are in the DDCA it will help the game of cricket. I believe cricketers can set things right in the DDCA but not many can contest elections because when it comes to the numbers game (votes) the system does not allow us to enter the fray,” he added.