Veteran politician Sharad Pawar has been elected unopposed as the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association. The 72-year-old Pawar, the president of the Nationalist Congress Party, was elected after Gopinath Munde's application was rejected by the election officer on Thursday. The former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister's application to contest the polls was disallowed on the basis of his "residential" criteria.
Pawar, who has been the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the International Cricket Council, is thus going to be back in cricket administration. His name was doing the rounds before the BCCI election impasse over N. Srinivasan in August-September. Pawar, who was BCCI president from 2005 to 2008, replaced England's David Morgan as ICC president in 2010.
BJP leader Munde had applied to contest the biennial MCA elections to break Pawar's stranglehold over MCA. Munde's lawyer Nitin Pradhan said Munde had submitted his passport, diplomatic passport, electricity bill and telephone bill to prove his Mumbai address. Pradhan said Munde's rejection was "stage-managed."
Munde said the rejection of his candidature was a conspiracy against him and hit out at rival presidential candidate and former MCA chief Pawar. "This is a conspiracy against me. I am fighting for justice. There is a monopoly of Mr Sharad Pawar in MCA. I want to fight against this monopoly and I feel that the president should give me justice. If he does not give, I will go to Bombay High Court," Munde had said.
According to MCA rules, only a Mumbai resident can become a governing member of the cricketing body. A local club, Stylo Cricket Club from Mazgaon, had forwarded Munde's name to MCA last month saying the former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister would represent it at the elections. According to rules, a candidate needs to be representing an MCA-affiliated club in order to be able to contest polls.