N Srinivasan meets Sharad Pawar as BCCI bigwigs continue parleys
New Delhi: Five days after the sudden demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya, there seems to be no clear consensus among the BCCI bigwigs on choosing the new president of the cricket board even as hectic parleys and lobbying continued by the various factions.
A surprise late night meeting in Nagpur between the two former board chiefs and known foes Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan provided a new twist to the succession battle, raising speculation of new equations emerging within the Board.
Top sources, however, indicated that the two-hour long meeting yielded little result as both the powerful men understood that they don't have numbers in individual capacity to take the other head on at the moment.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Srinivasan told a reporter in Bengaluru when asked about him supporting Amitabh Chaudhary's candidature.
Srinivasan, who had called a meeting of loyalists in Bengaluru on Thursday to gauge his strength, did not have five of the six east Zone units attending the meeting.
While Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) represented by Brijesh Patel and Kerala CA represented by TC Mathew were there, it is learnt that not more than six units were was present at this show of strength meeting called by the Tamil Nadu strongman.
Among the eastern units, it is learnt that only Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) might have attended the meeting although their secretary Asirbad Behera, who is the voter, chose to stay back.
"I think Ranjib must have gone. I had to come to Bhubaneshwar today to meet the Police authorities for the security arrangement of the T20 match. Also I would not like to indulge in these kind of meetings when Mr Dalmiya's shraddh ceremony has not been performed," Behera told PTI.
As per sources, Assam's Gautam Roy is currently a fence-sitter and did not want to make his position clear. The Cricket Association (CAB) had already clarified that they won't attend any meeting till Dalmiya's condolence meeting gets over on October 2.
Chaudhary, while making it clear that he wants a candidate from East, also clarified that he is currently in Kolkata.
"As far as I am concerned, it is East Zone's turn to have their president from 2014 to 2017. I want the bylaws of BCCI constitution to be followed in letter and spirit. As far as I am concerned, I am currently in Kolkata and if any group is having a meeting, they are free to do so," Chaudhary said.
National Cricket Club, which is like Jagmohan Dalmiya's family club, represented by his friend KP Kajaria also were not present. Kajaria himself is not keeping well these days.
Tripura CA's Sourav Dasgupta, who is a known Anurag Thakur loyalist in any case would not have attended the meeting.
While Thakur faction is in favour of Rajeev Shukla taking over as the President, it does not have the clear majority to ensure victory for the Congress MP. Similarly Pawar group also have four committed voters in Mumbai CA, Vidarbha CA (Shashank Manohar), Mahrashtra CA (Ajay Shirke) and Saurashtra CA (Niranjan Shah).
Pawar group would certainly need Thakur and his party BJP's explicit support to pull it off. Pawar met Srini in order to test whether the current ICC chairman would support him and then calculate how many of the floating votes can come in his favour.