Former Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath, who is serving as an electoral officer for Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), has struck a discordant note against the CoA advisory. Sampath said HCA will not be able to abide by that one point in the advisory that disallows members disqualifed for exceeding nine years in office from voting in state association elections or attending the annual general body meeting.
“The Supreme Court or Lodha committee report never dealt with club members, who participate in the election of association. As far as I know, there is no amendment to the constitution also to provide that kind of restriction. For disqualification, you need to have completed three terms according to the constitution or the Supreme Court order. But there is no restrictive provision for voting in the association. In fact the club members thing is not discussed at all. Even if the BCCI gives directives today, unless we make an amendment to our constitution we cannot enforce it,” Sampath told The Indian Express.
The Hyderabad Cricket Association election is scheduled to be held on September 27 with former India captain Mohd Azharuddin fighting for the top post. The CoA in its the advisory had stated that only one representative each of the affiliated Clubs/Universities/District Associations or Member Organizations will be allowed to attend, vote or stand for elections.
“This is in line with the spirit of the cricket reforms accepted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court which requires only non-disqualified and eligible nominated/elected individuals to occupy positions of responsibility and functioning such as representatives to the BCCI and/or Member Associations. This will ensure there is a greater pool of talent available from amongst whom officer bearers and Councillors are elected,” Point 10 of the advisory states.
At the same time, it is clarified that this rule is not applicable to life members or former international players who will be entitled to attend the general body meeting and vote. Sampath stated that the last para of the advisory is contradictory to the first one.
He also cited the late arrival of the advisory as a reason for making compliance untenable. “The first para is written very, very ambiguously. According to the schedule given by the BCCI, we are at the stage where we are receiving nominations. When you receive a nomination, you cannot change the electoral role. Having started the election process and also not having made provision in the constitution to restrict participation in voting, we can’t enforce this,” Sampath added. As per advisory and Rule 7 of the Rules of Procedure for BCCI Elections prescribed by the Electoral Officer, BCCI, Electoral officer decision is final.
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State units upset
Meanwhile, many states have expressed their disappointment with the COA’s partial approach with regards to the age restriction of 70 years. The COA has allowed international players to vote even after 70 years old but members who represent their clubs and are over 70, will be deprived to use this vote. Many state associations have clubs as their member units and feels if cricketers are allowed to vote when over 70 years then why not members.
Nomination turned down
Even before its elections, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) office-bearers had nominated Arun Thakur as their state representative in the BCCI Annual General body meeting. However, the CoA rejected HPCA’s choice and reminded them that the power of nominating a representative of the state unit for the BCCI AGM rests with the state annual general body. HPCA is scheduled to have its election on September 27.
Azhar files nomination for Hyderabad
Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin has filed his nomination for the president’s post of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. After getting his life ban for match-fixing overturned by the court, Azhar had shown interest in serving as a cricket administrator. Hyderabad is also scheduled to have its election on September 27.
MCA seeks suggestion
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) had written to the CoA to help them conduct the election at the earliest. The MCA enclosed a letter from electoral officer DN Chaudhari, who had declined to take up the role. The former Maharashtra State Election Commissioner informed MCA that “it would be legally not in order” for him to take up the position of electoral officer for the MCA election.