Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Turmoil in J&K cricket association: Ansari wins poll, Farooq gets stay
DRAMA PDA minister gets majority votes in JKCA, former CM terms development unlawful
SRINAGAR: High-voltage drama was witnessed in the influential Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) on Monday with a rebel group electing state sports minister Imran Reza Ansari as the body’s president in an attempt to end Farooq Abdullah’s 35-year reign, but the move was stayed by a Jammu court.
Ansari, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader, was declared a winner when 44 association members out of 64 voted for him in elections held in Srinagar. Twenty members, apparently of pro-Abdullah lobby, boycotted the polls.
Mehboob Iqbal Shah, who replaced Arvinder Singh Micky as new chairman, said, “The association is managed by its working committee. It decided to hold polls as per the rules.” However, former JKCA president Farooq Abdullah described the polls “illegal.” “The working committee of the association is necessary to be presided over by the president and notification is issued by the general secretary. There is no provision for premature elections or no confidence motion,” said Abdullah, also opposition National Conference (NC) president. He alleged that “some elements with political motives and ambition are behind this unlawful action.” “This move is detrimental to the cause of cricket as also to peace in the JKCA circles and the state,” added Abdullah, JKCA president since 35 years. Abdullah, who was elected last year, said his tenure of three years is still incomplete. “The JKCA is a society and cannot be interfered with by the state administration,” he added in a statement issued on the letter pad of the association.
Ailing Abdullah, who rushed to Srinagar from abroad on Sunday, is flying to Delhi soon to meet BCCI officials too, sources said. A local court’s stay order hours after the poll results, issued in Jammu in response to a petition filed by former chairman Micky, asked the JKCA to put the new body in abeyance.
However, the government claimed the court that issued the order has no jurisdiction in such matters. “The state law secretary’s opinion clarifies that the court that issued the stay does not hold in such matters. It has no jurisdiction in such cases,” said state education minister and government spokesman Naeem Akhter.
Meanwhile, the new body, headed by Ansari, went ahead with opening bank accounts for themselves as office bearers of the JKCA despite the court orders.
“Ansari is new president. It is clear,” said Akhter. Monday’s events have further cornered Abdullah, who is facing charges of embezzlement in the JKCA.
This move is detrimental to the cause of cricket and peace in the JKCA circles and the state.
FAROOQ ABDULLAH, former CM