A quiet but sure move is afoot within the BCCI to enable its president — and, maybe, other officebearers as well — to be reelected after completion of his three-year term.
The existing rules clearly prohibit office-bearers from being re-elected for the same post, except for the five vice-presidents, who can be reelected for a second term.
Only select officials have been told in confidence about this move, which may become a reality well before incumbent president N Srinivasan’s tenure ends in September 2014.
Who knows, this rule may be amended as early as September 15, when a special general body meeting is being convened for some other amendments relating to the election of the president.
A three-fourth majority of the members present and entitled to vote is required to effect any amendment.
Members of the working committee admitted that they were anticipating Srinivasan to raise the issue of re-election of the president during the meeting held in Chennai on Wednesday.
"It was a hot issue during informal discussions before the meeting, though it was not on the agenda. In fact, a very senior member of the Board was anticipating it to come up at the meeting and told me that this proposal would be raised under 'any other business’ towards the end of the meeting,” an official who attended the meeting told Mail Today.
"It didn’t come up, though.” Another senior official said that the presence of the last BCCI president, Shashank Manohar, and his meeting with Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, fuelled speculation. He said that they met Srinivasan separately before the meeting.
"Since Manohar, a well-known lawyer, is also well versed with the BCCI constitution, no alteration of rules and regulations can effectively be done without his important inputs,” the official pointed out.
"A special general body meeting is being convened on September 15 in Chennai to amend rules for the election of the president, enabling the concerned zone to nominate someone from outside its zone, provided two of the member associations of that region agree to it.
"Some other rules could also be amended at this meeting and, you never know, the one concerning the re-election of the president could also be altered. It’s also possible that not just the president, but the amendment may allow other office-bearers as well to be reelected for a second term.” Rule 15 ( vi) of the BCCI constitution prohibits its officebearers, barring the five vicepresidents, from re-election.
It clearly states: "No office bearer shall be eligible for a reelection for an additional term for the same office, after they complete their term/ extended term. However, the vice-presidents may be re-elected for one more term of three years.”
Going by the numbers he has, getting the approval of the house would be a cakewalk for Srinivasan, who will complete the first year of his three-year term next month. Unlike in the past, currently there is virtually no opposition in the BCCI, after Dalmiya buried his differences with the Manohar/ Srinivasan group sometime ago.
Even when former BCCI president Dalmiya, who reportedly supported the move to amend the constitution at Wednesday’s meeting, was part of the weak opposition in July 2007, as many as 67 amendments were effected at a special general body meeting chaired by Board president Sharad Pawar.
For the other constitution change — of proposing someone from outside the zone for the president’s post — interestingly, the official reason being cited for the need of this amendment is that there are "not many qualified people” in east zone, whose turn it will be next year to nominate a candidate for the president-elect’s post.
Be that as it may, Dalmiya should have no problem in nominating Delhi cricket chief Arun Jaitley, as he is widely believed to be the candidate for the president-elect’s position.
According to the proposed amendment, as explained by Srinivasan on Wednesday, a zone would need only a proposer and a seconder to nominate a person from outside.
And, by virtue of being the president of two associations — Bengal and the Kolkata-based National Cricket Club, Dalmiya can do it single-handedly.