Politics and Politicians: Inside the BCCI Behemoth
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – First the set up.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was formed in December 1928 as a Society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975. BCCI, as it is more popularly known, has got all the state cricket associations in India under it.
The state associations, in turn, select their representatives who in turn elect the BCCI president, who is currently former India captain Sourav Ganguly.
The main decision-makers in the BCCI are its president, vice-presidents, honorary secretary, honorary treasurer, and honorary joint secretary (Hemang Amin is currently serving as interim CEO). The Apex Council is the principal body of the BCCI which is tasked with governance while the general body is constituted of all the members of the BCCI.
As per the BCCI constitution, all powers of governance, management, and decision-making “shall vest” in the general body. The general body shall also have the power “to collect funds and wherever necessary borrow, with or without security, for purposes of the BCCI and to raise loans with or without security and to purchase, redeem or pay off any such activity.”
The general body also has the powers to frame, alter, amend, or add to Laws of Cricket in India wherever desirable or necessary, direct and control the governing council; lend oversight and assistance to organizing IPL and ensure that interests of players as well as franchises are protected. It also has the right to review any decision of the Apex Council or the Governing Council.
Now the politics.
Ganguly has no affiliation to any political parties, but he has met many different political people in the past as well as in recent times. In May this year, he hosted Union Home Minister Amit Shah, at his Kolkata residence. On the very next day, he attended the inauguration of a hospital alongside a senior minister of the Trinamool Congress government in the state, led by Mamata Banerjee, on whom he heaped praises and Firhad Hakim, the mayor of Kolkata. When the Left government was in power in West Bengal, it was rumored that Ganguly had some proximity with then-Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
The BCCI secretary is Jay Shah, who is none other than Amit Shah’s son. It can’t get closer to government and politicians than this.
Vice-president Rajeev Shukla is also serving as a member of Rajya Sabha through the Congress party.
Treasurer Arun Dhumal is the brother of Anurag Thakur, who is currently the Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Central government. He was also the BCCI president in 2016 before being dismissed from the post by the Supreme Court in early 2017 due to the failure to implement reforms suggested by the Lodha panel. Ganguly and Jay Shah, are set to be in office until 2025. Ganguly and Shah had already served one term each at the state and BCCI levels and would have been disqualified under the existing rule. However, they can now serve an additional term in the BCCI.