Union Agriculture minister and NCP strongman Sharad Pawar filed his nomination for the presidentship of the Mumbai Cricket Association on Wednesday, a day after BJP leader Gopinath Munde did so, to make it a two-way fight at the October 18 biennial elections.
"Mr Sharad Pawar has filed his nomination to contest for the president's post," said Dr P V Shetty, the outgoing joint-secretary, whose group, headed by incumbent MCA chief Ravi Savant, has already extended support to the political bigwig and former president.
Pawar filed his nomination as a representative of Parsi Pioneer Cricket Club. It was proposed and seconded by Dr Shetty and Savant respectively.
On Tuesday, Munde, deputy leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, filed his nomination fuelling speculation that he would be involved in a straight fight with Pawar.
The nomination papers will be scrutinised on October 12 and withdrawals, if any, will take place on October 15.
Pawar's move, after he completed his term as president of the ICC in 2011, is considered in some circles as a first step towards regaining the top position in the BCCI, which he headed from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
Pawar, who was succeeded in the MCA by the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, who passed away last year, leading to Savant occupying the chair till date, has so far not openly expressed his desire to return to the helm of BCCI. But, with the BCCI having changed its memorandum of rules and regulations that past presidents too can make a return to their post, this eventuality cannot be ruled out if he wins the election and becomes MCA president again.
Earlier in the day, the MCA's polls gathered steam with the filing of nominations for all posts barring one by the group headed by outgoing vice-president Vijay Patil, which too has already extended its support for Pawar's presidential aspirations.
"Dr Vijay Patil has filed his nomination for the vice-presidentship. All our panel members barring Lalchand Rajput, who is away, filed their nominations today. Rajput will be filing it electronically later today and the physical form will be submitted tomorrow to the MCA," group spokesperson Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar said.
Former opener Rajput - who is coaching India ‘A’ in the ongoing series against the West Indies ‘A’ in Karnataka – is scheduled to file his nomination for the joint-secretary's post.
Ex-India pacer Abey Kuruvilla, former Mumbai medium pacer Atul Ranade and Khanvilkar have also filed nominations for the two joint-secretaries' post.
Kuruvilla, Ranade and Khanvilkar also filed their nominations for the 11-member strong managing committee while Rajput is also slated to do so electronically.
Outgoing treasurer Mayank Khandwala, from the same group, filed his nomination for the same post.
Savant and his panel members, including current joint-secretaries Dr Shetty and Nitin Dalal, will also file their nominations on October 11, according to Dr Shetty.
Image: Sharad Pawar