Sanjay Patel may be on a strong footing in the BCCI, but he finds himself on a sticky wicket in the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA). The chartered accountant, who holds the post of secretary in the BCCI and BCA, could be forced to give up the post in his home association on Friday. The managing committee, which will meet around 5 pm, could seal his fate.
The story goes like this: there is a provision in the BCA to 'co-opt' three members into the managing committee, which is purely an elected body. In other words, three persons who may have completed a full term on any of the sub-committees or managing committee but didn't stand for elections this time can still be nominated to the newly-elected managing committee. After the elections in December, the BCA included Cassim Unia, Dr Anandrao Patel and Adv. Kaushik Bhatt in the managing committee.
Manoj Karlekar, a member of the general body and known supporter of the departed Baroda strongman and BCCI secretary JY Lele, raised an objection, saying that none of the three 'co-opted' members met the required criteria. He conveyed the same in writing to the managing committee.
The managing committee took cognisance of the same and sought legal opinion. Experts pointed out that Karlekar was right and that the managing committee must reverse its decision. Dr Patel and Adv. Bhatt will have to opt out of the managing committee, but there is still a ray of hope for Unia.
Consequently, a section of the managing committee also pointed out that Sanjay Patel had become an office bearer without completing a full term on a sub-committee. Legal opinion was sought once again and the managing committee was told that he be asked to resign from the post of secretary.
"Sanjay Patel has been elected vice-president and secretary on more than one occasion, but our legal experts have said that all his elections be declared null and void," a managing committee said. "We will vote him out of power on Friday," he added.
Patel couldn't be reached for a comment, but he is believed to have told his supporters that the managing committee can't throw him out. Only the general body can do so. Another insider said that every man "is interpreting the constitution in his own way".
Whatever the case, Patel can continue to be BCCI secretary. But he could well face an embarrassing exit on home turf.
Rumour also has it that Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, the BCA president, is no longer on Patel's side. Interestingly enough, they had contested the elections from the same group. The 46-year-old former first-class player, who occupies the throne of Baroda, an erstwhile kingdom, is fed-up with the "politics" in the association. Friday's managing committee meeting could be an interesting affair.