Despite being banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi defiantly filed his nomination for the December 19 Rajasthan Cricket Association elections on Monday, prompting a livid BCCI to threaten suspension of RCA for letting him back.
Modi's nomination papers for the post of RCA president were filed by his lawyer, Mehmood Abdi, who himself is aiming for the vice-president's post in the elections, scheduled for Thursday.
Abdi was accompanied by Amin Pathan, secretary of Kota District Cricket Association and a close confidante of Modi, to do the paperwork on the last day of nominations.
Scrutiny will be done on Tuesday while December 18 is the date for withdrawals. The polling will be held on December 19 between 11 am to 2 pm.
However, a livid BCCI shot off a letter to incumbent RCA president C P Joshi, who decided against contesting the polls.
"We find that the Nagaur Cricket Association has allowed Lalit Modi as president. We wish to remind you that as per the BCCI rules and regulations, all the members, including RCA, are bound to follow the decision taken and directives issued in the interest of BCCI, especially those related to disciplinary proceedings," read a letter from BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel.
"The RCA stands to lose its rights and privileges as BCCI member if the expelled administrator of BCCI is allowed to remain an office-bearer of one of your district units. Therefore, kindly comply to BCCI directives and report the same to us," it added.
As things stand, Modi can get elected unopposed in the polls given that nobody has filed a nomination for the top post apart from him. His faction already claims to have the support of 24 district units out of a total of 33.
Modi was banned for life by the BCCI from all cricket matters in India after being found guilty of financial bungling during his stint as IPL commissioner but the suspension was stayed by the Rajasthan high court in October, only to be pulled back recently.
Modi's legal counsel claims that since the RCA is governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act, the BCCI ban is not applicable on the former BCCI vice-president.
"He has security concerns so we won't be seeing him here for some time but he can contest," said Abdi, after filing the nomination.
Asked if the RCA will be run with Modi in absentia in case he goes on to win the polls, Abdi said, "There is no need for him to be physically present all the time, he has a team under him and it can work under his guidance and leadership.
"Even Mr C P Joshi was not there all the time in office, we can in fact count the number of days he was there in office," he added.
It is worth recollecting that it was with the then BJP CM Vasundhara Raje, a Sports Act was formulated to pave the way for Modi and oust the Rungta clan from RCA in the 2005 elections.
With Raje taking over as Rajasthan CM, Modi seems to be regaining his foothold.
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.
Image: Lalit Modi