Mumbai: Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is all set to begin his second innings as president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The Maharashtra strongman was declared elected president unopposed after Gopinath Munde’s appeal against the MCA’s decision to disbar him from the polls was upheld.
The Nationalist Congress Party chief’s way was thus cleared a day ahead of the biennial polls.
“Sharad Pawar has been declared elected unopposed as the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association by election officer S.M. Gorwadkar as there is no other candidate to oppose him,” MCA sources was quoted as saying by PTI. Pawar has headed the association for a decade from 2001-2011 before stepping aside.
Munde had challenged the MCA’s decision to debar him on Wednesday and was given a hearing as per MCA bye laws.
However, MCA president Ravi Sawant upheld the decision to disqualify Munde.
“We disqualified him as he was not a permanent resident of Mumbai,” said Sawant.
Sawant said the BJP leader had shown his passport and his income tax returns, which had Mumbai address. “He also proved that he had a home in Mumbai, but those were not enough,” Sawant said.
Sawant said that while Munde did not show his ration card to them, the voter ID card of the BJP leader showed that he is a resident of Beed, which made him illegal to contest.
“According to our bye laws, the person has to be a permanent resident of Mumbai, he doesn’t need to have a permanent residence but he needs to be a permanent resident here. You could have four houses at different places, but you have to decide which your permanent residence is,” said Sawant.
Aware that Munde has been threatening to move court if the MCA didn’t allow him to contest the polls, the MCA president said, “We have gone by a Bombay High Court ruling in a case, when he was not a resident of Mumbai.
However, he added that no one had brought it to their notice earlier. “If someone had brought it to our notice and objected, it would not have happened."
"However, Munde cannot take the same logic and say that he should be allowed to contest as the law is clear that there is no equality in illegality, just because one illegal act has been done does not mean you can allow another person to do the same,” said Sawant.
The BJP leader, however, is bitter about his lost opportunity and has now even questioned why Pawar even wants to contest the polls. “He was the MCA chief, he became the BCCI chief and then the ICC chief, why does he want to contest the MCA polls again,” questioned Munde.
An angry Munde trained his guns at MCA and also said that he would approach the City Civil court to file a case challenging the ruling.
“When Vilasrao Deshmukh became the MCA president he just gave his passport as the proof of his residence and it was accepted. When I am doing the same it was rejected,” said Munde.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.