Farooq re-elected chief of scam-hit Cricket Association

Senior members from Jammu, Srinagar dropped from poll contest

SRINAGAR: Despite his stated aversion to assuming any office in Cricket Association, Farooq Abdullah was Monday “re-elected” President of the state’s elite cricket body J&K Cricket Association. Abdullah had earlier claimed that he was not interested in extending his tenure as president of the body and would skip this year’s contest.

Reports said that elections of JKCA were held at Grand Lalit Hotel on Monday after three years. Insiders said that there was chaos and confusion inside the election hall as some members protested that some office bearers and senior members of the Association were not allowed to participate .

Reports said that Vice chairman Jammu Shastri Cricket Club and another vice chairman from Sopore club were barred from taking part in the elections as their names appeared nowhere in the list that was pasted outside the election hall.

“Why those members are not being allowed to participate in the election who at present are the part of the Association and participated in almost all the important meetings of the Association,” some members from different Clubs during election process raised the question amid noisy scenes.

Reports said that Vice chairman Jammu Shastri Cricket Club, Shambu Nath Sharma and another vice chairman from Sopore Javid Ahmed Kitab after not finding their names in the list of members left the venue in a dejected state.

“To pave way for the entry of the fake members, the real members were barred from taking part in the election process,” a member said on condition of anonymity.

Reports said that the elections, held for the first time after surfacing of the multi-crore cricket scam, were marred by arguments and protests.  Farooq Abdullah was once again elected the president of the highest sports body of the state while Arvind Singh Mikkhi was elected Chairman.

Some of the members who were chosen as the office bearers included M.L.Nehru (General Secretary), Iees Gundhroo (Joint Secretary), Ghulam Muhammad Ronga (Vice Chairman) and Ghulam Muhammad Bhat was elected as Treasurer.

Sources privy to the meeting said that president JKCA,  Farooq Abdullah on this occasion said that the Association had received some  cheques worth Rs 2 Crore from one of the accused involved in Cricket scam, Ehsan Mirza. “Mirza has informed the Association in case it is proved through investigation that he was involved in misappropriation of Cricket Association funds, he would pay back every penny,” Farooq Abdullah informed the JKCA members.

Pertinently,  Farooq Abdullah had announced that he would no more be contesting elections. “It is enough, I have stood for long now, will not stand for the post of the President again. I have always been elected for the post unopposed and have tried to serve the Association to the best of my capabilities,”  Farooq had said while talking to media a couple of days ago.

The last elections of the cricket body were held in 2011 in which  Farooq Abdullah, who has been heading the body for close to three decades, was re-elected as President, unopposed. Ahsan Mirza was elected general Secretary while Aslam Goni was elected as Chairman.

However after unearthing of the multi-crore scam, Mirza, Goni and administrative officer Saleem Khan had to resign from their respective posts.

Meanwhile the incumbent members have accused Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association working committee of committing fraud and manipulation. The incumbent members of JKCA have said that these elections were manipulated and were not fair. “During last elections in 2011, I was elected as the Vice Chairman and after three years when elections were due on Monday 2014, I was not allowed to participate in it. I am telling you with authority that there were dozens of fake members present in the meeting who participated in the elections,” says Shambu Nath Sharma who heads Shastri Cricket Club Jammu and was the vice chairman of the JKCA till Monday.

He wonder why a working committee member was not allowed to participate in the JKCA elections. “I was shocked after not finding my name in the list of the members that were due to participate in the working committee meeting on Monday. You will not believe that as the Vice Chairman of the JKCA, I participated in the Working Committee meeting at Fortune Hotel Jammu on March 4 this year that was presided by  Farooq Abdullah. It shocked me that those persons were entrusted the job to frame the list of members who are corrupt and are looting the money of the Association,” Sharma alleged.

He said that the minutes for the Monday’s meeting and elections were prepared on March 4 meeting at Jammu and his name was enlisted there at the top. “On whose behest I along with another club member was barred from participating in the elections is an open fact. I must tell you that these elections were fishy and manipulated,” he said.

Lifetime member of JKCA who represents Muslim Cricket Club Sopore Javid Ahmed Kitab despite being the present vice chairman of the Association was also not allowed to participate in the Working Committee meeting on Monday. “Farooq Abdullah barred those members to participate in the elections who frequently raise the questions about the cricket scam. Farooq Abdullah did it all to hush up the scam and save the guilty,” Kitab said adding that he never compromised with any one on the scam that marred Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association. (CNS)

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