Uncertainty over Lalit Modi contesting the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) elections later this month ended on Tuesday with his legal counsel Mehmood Abdi confirming that the former Indian Premier League commissioner will fight the polls.
Talking to PTI, Abdi said that the former RCA president will fight for the top post once again, thereby throwing a gauntlet at the BCCI, who has banned him for life in all cricket matters in India.
"He is all set to fight the RCA elections, which would be held on 19th December. He is willing to challenge the BCCI who has banned him for life," Abdi, who is also the president of the Sri Ganganagar District Association, said.
Abdi also insisted that there was no legal tangle and Modi was entitled to fight the elections. "His name is already on the eligibility list as president of the Nagaur District Cricket Association and moreover Rajasthan is governed by the Sports Act 2005. The date for nominations is from 14th to 16th December and Modi would file his nomination in time," he said.
Abdi, as the spokesman of Modi group, also clarified that the group has no reservation or aversion to certain individuals. "Everybody whosoever is interested in the development of the cricket in Rajasthan is welcome to join and vote for Lalit Modi in the forthcoming RCA elections. We are confident of overwhelming support from district cricket associations."
Modi's loyalists met here on Monday and claimed the presence of 19 district units. The shift in power in state has resulted in many of the C P Joshi loyalists deserting him.
"Joshi had ignored cricket in Rajasthan. The game has taken a beating in the state. Joshi has not done anything for the game. I was hoping as a federal minister he (Joshi) would have done a lot but I am disappointed.
"We had worked very, very hard and it is about time we start getting our act together," Modi had stated earlier.
Earlier, the judge appointed by Supreme Court as principal observer, Justice Kasliwal announced that the elections of RCA will be held on December 19 while the nominations would be filed between December 14 and 16.
"The elections of RCA would be held on December 19 while the nominations would be filed between 14th to 16th December. The scrutiny would be done on 17th while 18th is the date for withdrawls. The polling would be held on 19th between 11 am to 2 pm. The results would be sent to Supreme Court in sealed envelope and would be declared later by the apex court," the judge appointed by Supreme Court as principal observer, Justice NM Kasliwal, announced .
Modi was banned for life by the BCCI from all cricket matters in India but the suspension was stayed by the Rajasthan High Court in October only to be pulled back recently.
Modi had announced his intention to run for the RCA president's post, and Modi's legal counsel had claimed that since the RCA was governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act, the BCCI ban was not applicable on the former BCCI vice-president.
This made the election scenario interesting because his faction claims to have support from 19 district units. The thumping majority of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has also made the road more difficult for the Union Minister Joshi.
It is worth recollecting that it was with the then BJP CM Vasundhara Raje, that Sports Act was formulated to pave way for Modi and oust the Rungta clan from RCA in 2005 elections.
With Raje soon be taking over as Rajasthan CM, Modi seems to be regaining his foot hold in Rajasthan. It remains unclear whether he will fight the RCA elections from London.
There are 33 voters (districts) that make up the electoral list and only an office-bearer of a district association is eligible to contest the election. According to the Rajasthan Sports Act 2005 that governs the RCA, only the president, secretary and treasurer are the valid office-bearers.