Amidst reports of a compromise between bitter rivals at the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Annual General Meeting, former president Inder Singh Bindra on Saturday rebutted talk of a 'secret understanding' with the Jagmohan Dalmiya faction and that inclusion of Sharad Pawar in the Board's Marketing Committee is a result of it.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi a day after the adjournment of the acrimonious AGM of the Board yesterday, Bindra, a Dalmiya detractor and a Pawar-backer, said Rajasthan Cricket Association president Lalit Modi was the lone dissenting voice at the end of the day and indicated that he would not approve of his plans to go to Supreme Court on the issue of Board President's election.
He said Pawar, who was to contest for the post of the president, before the AGM itself was adjourned sine die, and Srinivasan were made members in an effort to enlarge the Marketing Committee.
Pawar was nominated as North Zone candidate by Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association for the top post of BCCI to challenge incumbent Ranbir Singh Mahendra of Haryana. But the entire AGM was muddled in a slew of court cases and was adjourned without any agenda being taken up, including the election of the office bearers. The members, however, agreed to reconvene on a date not later than November 30.
Bindra said the entire house agreed at the AGM that no major policy decisions except on the television rights would be made in the interim period and considering the importance of the TV rights issue a person of Pawar's stature was considered necessary in the Marketing Committee.
"Marketing Committee is not a decision making body but considering the situation wherein the AGM is not going to meet for the next 30 days, its scope has been enlarged," Bindra, also on the Committee, said.
"Now it has the authority of the AGM and two additions has been made.
"Pawar did not want to be part of the Committee but it was me and Jagmohan Dalmiya who forced him to come on board.
"We did so because we thought we needed an eminent person like him to decide on the television rights issue. There are some networks who are trying to hijack the television rights."
Bindra denied reports that there was any secret formula or understanding arrived at by the two groups of the BCCI.
"There was no secret formula or understanding. Every decision taken at the AGM was brought to the notice of the Observer appointed by the Calcutta High Court," he said.
Bindra explained that on the second day of the meeting there were several group-to-group discussions between the two camps, including a one-to-one and long interaction he had with his "long standing colleague" Dalmiya.
"I have been authorised by Pawar to say that there were no other formula or understanding adopted at the AGM," he said.
Bindra, however, evaded a pointed question on Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association chief Farooq Abdullah's statement during the AGM that Dalmiya had agreed on a compromise when he met Pawar in New Delhi a month ago but had backed out of it.
Asked if there was a 'rift' in his own ranks, Bindra said: "Lalit Modi was the lone dissenting voice."
"Even that could have been resolved. We had discussions with Dalmiya and it needed adjustment on both sides, but there was a lack of flexibility.
"Modi thought that although his grievances were being heard, the Board continued with its vindictive attitude towards him."
The Board has appointed a committee to look into allegations that Modi was charged in a drug trafficking case in the United States a few years ago and so should be debarred from holding any post in the BCCI or its affiliated units.
But Bindra, however, felt that Modi should not approach the courts seeking action against the Board.
"Even when I was suspended [for comments against the Board during the match fixing scandal in 2000], people felt I had a fool-safer case and all my allegations were found to be true. But being a former president I felt it was not correct for me to challenge the decision of the august body," he said.
The Punjab Cricket Association president said he and his BCCI colleagues "owed the nation and the millions of fans an apology" for the way the members conducted themselves over the last two days.