New Delhi: Lawyer Rohan Jaitley could file his nomination papers for the president’s post of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) — a position that his late father, Arun Jaitley, held for 14 years.
Jaitley on Monday confirmed that he was ready to contest, but pointed out a few cases currently being heard in the Supreme Court. He said that if the path became clear he would file his nomination papers on Wednesday, the last day of filing nominations. The three-day window for nominations opened on Monday, and the elections are scheduled to be held between October 17 and 20.
“Yes, nominations have started. But there are two-three days left [to file nominations]. There’s time. I am very open to it. There’s no problem; there’s no hindrance from my side,” Jaitley, 31, told IANS.
“But there are some legal cases going on, and clarity is yet to be determined on whether or not the elections will go ahead as scheduled. There is some grey area. I have no problem [contesting for the top post]. But October 7 looks too far when cases are on in courts. If I file my nomination, I will on October 7,” said the Delhi-based lawyer.
All major groups in the DDCA – at last count, there were five — have orally agreed to support Jaitley, who has agreed to jump into the fray on their request. But, according to the groups supporting him, Jaitley would enter the fray only if he is elected unopposed, something everyone has agreed to. So far, no group has even whispered about fielding a candidate against him.
“Mr Jaitley will announce his team on Tuesday and file his nomination papers on Wednesday, along with his team,” claimed the leader of a prominent group supporting Jaitley. He was confident that Jaitley would take the plunge, irrespective of the court cases.
“Our group has given Mr Jaitley virtually a carte blanche. He is free to make his team, a good team. We will back him fully and the responsibility will be his. We want him to cleanse the DDCA of all the dirt and turn it into a good place,” he said. “Our group, and others, have met him several times. Even on Sunday, Mr Jaitley met a group of about 30 people, and he had a few other meetings as well.”
Elections will be held for six posts, including that of president, treasurer, and four directors.
The president’s post fell vacant after Rajat Sharma, who was elected with a thumping majority in June-July 2018, resigned in November last year following infighting within his group.
A new treasurer needs to be elected after the new rules of cricket governance disqualified O.P. Sharma, a sitting member of Delhi Legislative Assembly, for being a politician/public servant. The four directors’ election was necessitated after four sitting directors retired by rotation, as per the rules of the Company Law Board.
Sources said that among others a close relative of former India opener Gautam Gambhir could also be in the fray. “There is an eligibility question mark against one of our prominent candidates, for the treasurer’s post, and if that person is found ineligible, a close relative of Gambhir could be the back-up candidate,” said a member of another group.
It is gathered all groups have given a few names to Jaitley, and full freedom to choose his team, much like his late father in 1999 when he entered the DDCA as its president beating former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi in a lop-sided contest. As it turned out, Arun Jaitley ruled the DDCA for 14 years, before opting out in 2013 ahead of the general elections.
“Mr Jaitley wants to end factionalism in the DDCA and wants all groups to come together for betterment of cricket in Delhi,” said a member of a group.
Jaitley has no experience of managing a cricket association as big as DDCA. But he has the pedigree, and has a master’s degree in law from Cornell University. Those supporting him feel he would be able to handle the issues – mainly financial — afflicting the DDCA.