DDCA Elections: Family, Friends To Decide Winners
For the first time ever the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA) will go to the polls on June 30 without proxy votes. But proxies still exist and former members have fielded their friends and families as proxy members and a battle against them would be hard.
The cricket season is over in Delhi and the grounds are silent. But for the cricket officials, the games have just begun. In the middle are three high-flyers - the World Cup-winning former India and Delhi coach Madan Lal is vying for the President's post. Up against him is media baron Rajat Sharma, the owner of India TV and Vikas Singh, the Supreme Court Bar Association President. A total of 112 people are contesting for 12 posts. Objections have been raised against Madan Lal, filed by the opposition as he owns a cricket academy. But if he remains in the race, sources say that Rajat Sharma might withdraw. Most of the outgoing DDCA officials can't contest because of the Supreme Court mandated reforms, but the battle for other posts is being seen by many as a fight between their proxy candidates.
The BCCI acting president CK Khanna, who is a disqualified DDCA official, has fielded his wife Shashi Khanna for the vice-president's post.
Former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan, disqualified because of tenure, has his brother Pushpendra Chauhan contesting. There are 58 contestants who have the backing of friends and family.
Vikas Singh, one of the contestants, says, "As far as this election is concerned, we can't do anything about it. We have to depend on the votes of these family members. I have seen on the voters' list that one family has 5-6-7-8 votes. But the way forward would be to make a criterion by which you can become a DDCA member."
The Khanna's have the largest collection in one family, with 8 votes.
Atul Wassan, who has been a Delhi selector, says, "This is how they will circumvent the stipulations (Lodha reforms). I do not find anything wrong with it because they (the former administrators) will play a crucial role. Just to have clean cut elections is difficult."
That's not all, one of the biggest issues is the conflict of interest. Madan Lal and Surinder Khanna have such issues because they own cricket academies. There have been objections filed against them by the opposition. Former DDCA administrator Sunil Dev says it is difficult to remain objective.
"As a convener of the DDCA Selection Committee, I have seen the conflict of interest happen. I had to fight with every selector as a convener. On one occasion, a particular selector spoke about a guy from his academy rather than the others. I had exercised my own vote as convener and set things right."
The conflict of interest issues will be dealt with by an ethics officer once the panel takes office. But for DDCA to reverse its reputation, the panel's only interest should be to clean up Delhi cricket.