Why not just make him President for Life?

The Cricket Association of Bengal has amended its constitution to allow Jagmohan Dalmiya to serve a third term as its president. A special general meeting of the CAB voted this week to remove the clause in its constitution limiting an association president to holding a maximum of two terms in the post. This will allow Dalmiya to continue as CAB President beyond July this year, which is also the month when his term as president of the ICC expires. Joint Secretary of the CAB, Debdas Bannerjee, stated, “We are not denying the fact that we changed the constitution for Mr Dalmiya. The CAB needs him. He is the man who can mobilise funds for us.” Last week, Dalmiya was named to the newlycreated position of Chairman of the Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF).

– CricInfo365, 7.4.00

No surprises Wednesday night at Eden Gardens, except that there was an election at all. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the man with more hats than a bald hydra, has been re-elected president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).

Having had the CAB constitution re-written for his benefit in 2000, Dalmiya’s unopposed re-election has been a formality, until now. Dinesh Bajpai, former Director-General of the Bengal state police, threw his hat into the ring a couple of weeks ago.

With 121 votes available, Bajpai claimed 13. JD received 106. And a special mention to the representative of Salkia Friends who did not turn up.

Amitava Banerjee (97 votes) and Saradindu Pal (86), two of Dalmiya’s mates, were elected Joint Secretaries, with anti-JD operative Samar Pal scoring 35. There was a buzz in the days before the election as Saradindu Pal was quoted in the press and saying he had been involved in match-fixing. According to JD, however, “The system is such that matches cannot be fixed.”

Bajpai complained prior to the election that he had not received a list of the voters in the election, despite asking for one. A bit like the Iraqi general assembly election in reverse, really. Whereas in Iraq the voters were not given the names of many of the candidates they were voting for, in Bengal the opposition candidate was denied access to the electoral roll! Which makes campaigning rather difficult.

Press Trust of India reported that “rejecting Vajpai’s demand, Dalmiya said going by the rules, the list could not be sent to him. He said that the list had been put up on the notice board of the CAB and Vajpai was ‘always at liberty to come to the Club House and have a look’.”

I’m bemused. How can an sports administrative body, responsible for millions of participants, even keep the contact details of its affiliate members secret, let alone have a rule that candidates for its elections has trouble finding out who they are?

Reports on the election outcome from Press Trust of IndiaIndo-Asian News ServiceIndian Express, and from Kolkata newspapers the Telegraph and the Statesman.

In the wake of JD’s re-election, Prem Panicker has given a personal overview of Dalmiya’s legacy in his blog, Sightscreen, which I have today added to my blogroll.

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