Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and NCP chief Sharad Pawar are likely to contest the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections, scheduled on October 18.
The Union agriculture minister and former BCCI chief recently changed his residential address from Baramati to Malabar Hill.
For, a representative of any club should have a permanent address in the city to contest the elections.
Pawar recently criticised Chavan’s working style, saying he might be suffering from paralysis of hands because of which he doesn’t sign files for at least three-four months. Congress leaders, including Chavan, was disappointed with Pawar for making such a below-the-belt remark.
So, he has decided to take the lead in sport politics and make the going a bit tough for Pawar. “But Chavan has to consult the Congress high command as well,” a senior Congress leader said.
Pawar has in the past hinted at his desire to contest the MCA and the BCCI elections. Recently, he got his address changed. So technically nothing can stop him from contesting.
This will be Chavan’s first official entry in a sport body poll. Though he is representing the Mazgaon cricket club, his voting and permanent address is still in Satara district’s Karad.
If he wants to contest the elections, he has to have a Mumbai address. “And his staying in the official bungalow, Varsha, will not help. He has to get the address changed by applying before the electorate department,” the leader said.
In a letter addressed to MCA joint secretary, the Mazgaon cricket club signatories Shahalam Shaikh and Neelam Shahalam Shaikh said Chavan would represent the club, which has the voting rights in the MCA.
“Chavan will represent our club. In the past Vilasrao Deshmukh represented our club . After his death, his post has been kept vacant. Chavan is the perfect man for the job,” Shahalam Shaikh told dna.
Shaikh said Chavan took his time before agreeing. “I spoke with him some time back. He signed the papers yesterday and today [Monday] we submitted it in the MCA.”
When asked if Chavan would contest for the MCA president’s post, Shaikh refused to comment. “He definitely has the right to vote and contest. But all depends on whether he wants to contest,” Shaikh said.
City collector Chandrashekar Oak told dna that if the chief minister applies for a change in address, it can be done. And Chavan still has time to change his permanent address.
The MCA biennial elections for office bearers and managing committee, which has been much delayed, are supposed to be held on October 18. And September 17 is the last day for the clubs to inform the association about its representatives.
If the chief minister decides to contest for the top post it will be a battle to watch out for since Pawar too has, of late, shown an interest. But the former MCA president hasn’t made an official announcement.
If Pawar agrees to contest then the incumbent MCA president Ravi Sawant, leader of Bal Mahaddalkar panel, would stand for the vice presidency and support Pawar.
Of late a lot of politicians have shown an interest in the MCA and a few of them have bought clubs in the past two years. “People have paid a couple of crores to buy clubs so that they can get the voting rights and enjoy all facilities or get into the MCA,” said a club representative.
Chavan’s arrival has certainly created a furore in the MCA.
“Chavan entering MCA is a big thing. The elections will certainly become interesting if he contests against Pawar,” said an MCA official.