Affiliate afflictions

42AmitShah Shah squad: (From right) GCA president Amit Shah with son and GCA joint secretary Jay Shah, and Saurashtra Cricket Association secretary Niranjan Shah | PTI

The Gujarat Cricket Association is headed by BJP president Amit Shah, but his son, Jay, the joint secretary, usually stands in for his busy father. Elected in 2013, Jay, 29, has had a steady rise, even within the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He was inducted into many vital subcommittees, including the newly trimmed finance committee of the BCCI.

The GCA is one of the high-profile affiliates of the BCCI and controversial, too. Some of its members say that the association holds it annual general meetings erratically—the last one was held after a gap of three years. In its latest meeting, held on September 25, the GCA hurriedly passed its audited accounts for the past two years.

The association has also been plagued by cases of conflict of interest. Dhiraj Jogani, its treasurer, is also a paid CEO. “The man who issues cheques is also giving himself a salary,” says an upset GCA member. As per the rules, an administrator cannot draw any financial benefits from the BCCI or its affiliates, other than travel allowance and daily allowance for attending meetings.

Proxy voting in GCA elections has also been a cause for concern. Says former joint secretary Hitesh Patel: “The issue of votes being controlled by powerful politicians and industrialists has created a huge problem. There should be a rule that those who have not participated in an AGM for the past three or five years are not entitled to vote.” He suggests the creation of an independent panel of retired judges and players, appointed by the Gujarat High Court or the Supreme Court, to oversee state association polls.

In the east, the Assam Cricket Association has been bogged down by infighting between two groups, led by president Gautam Roy and secretary Bikash Baruah. In July, following a Guwahati High Court order, the police searched two ACA offices and seized many documents. The court gave the order while hearing a PIL filed by former ACA secretary Sahajananda Ojha, who had alleged massive financial irregularities in the association. One of Ojha's complaints was that the association had not held an AGM since 2009. And, apparently, the association has not submitted its audited accounts to the BCCI for the past three years.

The Rajasthan Cricket Association has also had its share of controversy. The BCCI suspended the association when former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi was elected RCA president in 2013. Later, 75 cricketers from the state petitioned the Rajasthan High Court, requesting its intervention to safeguard their future. Soon, on the orders of the High Court, the BCCI formed an ad hoc committee to run cricket in the state. As per the court's latest orders, a fresh no-confidence motion against Modi’s election will take place under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge Gyan Sudha Mishra, who is currently finalising the voters list.

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