BCCI’s ball in BJP’s court after ouster of N Srinivasan

Ruling party controls at least eight of the 30 votes; Party president Amit Shah could play kingmaker.Given that the Supreme Court has barred sidelined and disgraced BCCI president N Srinivasan from contesting in the next round of elections, various factions (led by Sharad Pawar, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya) are planning their next move. That said, the biggest decision-makers could be the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

With the BJP controlling at least eight of the 30 votes, including Services, All India Universities and Railways, it could well become the kingmaker.

That’s the main reason the focus has now shifted to prime minister Narendra Modi (former Gujarat Cricket Association president) and BJP president Amit Shah (GCA president), who have been key players in BCCI politics.

dna has reliably learnt that the Pawar group was always in touch with the BJP top brass. Now that the mission — read Srinivasan’s ouster — has been accomplished thanks to the SC’s verdict, there is still some suspense over the name of next presidential candidate.

National Congress Party president Pawar has the BJP’s blessings. And it’s common knowledge that he wants to become the BCCI president again. But it remains to be seen if the BJP will openly support him. It is learnt that the Pawar camp will hold another discussion with the BJP brass on or after January 27. Right now, the ruling faction is focused on the visit of US president Barack Obama.

It is reliably learnt that Shah has said no to the candidature of BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla, who has been trying hard to project him as the next president.

As of now, Srinivasan has the support of not more than 10 associations. Pawar has 12 associations on his side. At least four of Srinivasan’s supporters are ready to jump ship. Jharkhand, Tripura and Assam have already put one foot in the other door. And that means Srinivasan strategy to prop up a dummy candidate may not work.

In fact, both camps are now eagerly waiting for Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to return from Davos. Jaitley has always played an important role in BCCI politics. But even Jaitley will be bound to toe the BJP’s line in case Modi and Shah decide to support a particular candidate.

The anti-Srinivasan camp is already saying that the SC order has given Modi the platform to launch the ‘Swachh BCCI Mission’.

Modi and Shah can actually bring in the desired change in the functioning of the BCCI. Realising the threat, the Srinivasan camp is trying to woo former president Jagmohan Dalmiya to be its face. But Dalmiya, on his part, remains non-committal.

“We’ve to wait. The elections are to be held within six weeks. I’m sure things will be clear in the next few days. I’m hopeful that the BCCI will soon meet and decide the way forward,” said Dalmiya.

Dalmiya is not too keen on becoming the next president. First, he is already 74 and not keeping too well. Second, there is still opposition from other East Zone associations, whose turn it is to propose and second the next presidential candidate(s).