NEW DELHI (TIP): Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan came under all round attack with the Sports Ministry and Board heavyweights mounting pressure on him to quit. Srinivasan, however, remained unfazed and refused to step down. The Ministry for Sports and Youth Affairs said the BCCI chief should resign to avoid a conflict of interest, four days after the police arrested his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in connection with the IPL scandal.
“There is a conflict of interest in this inquiry. Therefore, the BCCI president should tender his resignation on moral grounds pending the outcome of the inquiry,” the ministry said in a statement. Pressure mounted on Srinivasan from within the Board too as two key members — Rajeev Shukla, vicepresident, and Arun Jaitley, vice president — asked the BCCI chief to stay away from the top post till investigations into the scandal were completed.
“Srinivasan is an elected president, but we are of the view that it would be good if he stays away from this procedure (of the inquiry into the fixing scandal). We have made this suggestion. The decision is up to him,” Shukla said after meeting Jaitley. Shukla said he and Jaitley were in touch with all Board members. A three-member BCCI inquiry committee is probing Meiyappan’s role and the spot-fixing allegations against three Rajasthan Royals players and its franchise as well as the Chennai Super Kings.
Srinivasan, on his part, showed no signs of relenting under pressure. “I saw Rajiv Shukla’s interview. What he says is that this commission has been appointed and I should disassociate myself from the procedure,” he said. “I had said in Kolkata that I will have nothing to do with the commission — its appointment, its terms of reference and its decision. Rajiv Shukla has reiterated this only,” said Srinivasan.
“I have nothing to do with the commission. It is independent. Under the operational powers, they have powers to sanction and impose punishment. So, we will just await the results,” he said. Pressure has been mounting on Srinivasan to quit ever since his son-in-law was arrested in the fixing scandal, though his own name has not been linked to the scandal. He cannot be forced to quit, unless the Board takes a majority decision.
He, however, can be prevailed upon to step down on moral grounds. The Sports Ministry, meanwhile, said it was in favour of a law to curb malpractices in all sports, and it will send its comments on the Bill drafted by the Law Ministry to all stakeholders. The ministry also clarified that enacting a law regularising betting in sports was a State subject, and therefore it “cannot be part of a Central Law”. “The ministry has made no recommendations to regularise betting to the Law Ministry or to any other organisation”, the ministry stated.