New Delhi: After much silence, India's top politicians associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, are speaking on N. Srinivasan, who is under pressure to quit as Board president after Gurunath Meiyappan, his son-in-law and a member of the Chennai Super Kings team, was arrested for alleged links with match-fixers.
Views are, of course, divided. While veteran politician Farooq Abdullah has defended Srinivasan as a "honourable man who would definitely resign if proven guilty," young Congressman and the son of the former Board chief Madhavrao Scindia, Jyotiraditya, feels on the contrary.
Speaking to NDTV, Scindia (Jr) said: "Let me say this that I am not assuming or saying that anyone is guilty. But considering the environment that is around cricket today, considering the fact that we do need to cleanse the sport in every single meaning of the word, I do believe that it would be in the fitness of things if Mr Srinivasan did step aside until this matter reached a conclusive end in terms of an inquiry."
The fissures inside BCCI are slowly showing. Former Board president I.S. Bindra was the first to call for Srinivasan's resignation and now Scindia's views will make the pitch difficult for the beleaguered BCCI boss. Scindia is the president of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association and is also a member of the BCCI disciplinary committee.
The articulate Scindia, Union Minister of State Ministry of Power, said: "If he and his family members, or rather his son-in-law, is absolved then surely he can come back. But considering the environment that cricket is in today, I do think that if you combine the fact of a conflict of interest and his own family member being involved in an ongoing investigation, it is in the fitness of things and more from a spirit point of view and propriety point of view, I do believe that he should step aside."
Scindia (Jr) felt Srinivasan's fate was directly proportional to the outcome of charges against Gurunath. "There's a committee that's going to be set up that's going to look into this, I don't believe that the nitty-gritty is important at this point of time. I believe propriety is important and, in the sense of propriety, I do believe that he should step down. I do believe he should step down, not only for himself but also for Chennai Super Kings and for the spirit of cricket per se."
Scindia (Jr) feels it's time for BCCI to take a united decision since Srinivasan is adamant to continue. "The fact that he has not done (resigned) so, I think it is time now for BCCI as a collective to see what the future course of action should be. In the fitness of things one should step aside, whether or not we believe we are guilty or not. If we are not guilty, then we will surely be reinstated. That example has to come from the top."
But as BJP MP and former cricket Kirti Azad asked on Tuesday morning, "who will bell the cat?" Azad said BCCI members were "scared" to vote out Srinivasan "because they had their own interests in mind."