IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla is in line to become the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on an interim basis, Times of India reports. The TOI quoted an unnamed BCCI official as saying that the Rajya Sabha MP was “way ahead of others” in the race for the coveted post.
The BCCI is set to call for a Special General Meeting to decided on the next board president, a post that has become vacant following the passing away of Jagmohan Dalmiya. The candidate will require a proposer and seconder from East Zone, who are possessing the rights to name the next BCCI president.
Contrary to earlier reports that former board chief and present president of the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Sharad Pawar was the frontrunner for the post, it is now believed that Shukla is the clear favourite, especially since he has the backing of the very powerful Arun Jaitley.
"According to the constitution, this will be a by-election, which means you only need a proposer. Pawar is making no efforts to push for the presidency. Even now, he is visiting some rural areas of Maharashtra, when he should be lobbying for the position. Plus, he knows that Jaitley, who will have the final say on the matter, is much closer to Shukla than to him. So, unless people approach him to contest the election, he's very unlikely to do so,” a top BCCI official said, as reported by TOI.
“Basically, the ruling party (BJP) will have a major influence on this issue, which is why Jaitley holds the key. Shukla is an amiable, clean man, who is acceptable to all factions in the BCCI. He was interested in becoming the BCCI president even in the last election but was left fighting for the vice-president's post, which he lost," the official added.
He also refuted claims that ICC Chairman N Srinivasan could influence the outcome of the by-election.
“He claimed he had 26 votes before the last election. We all saw what happened," he said.
Zee News quoted another board official, who refused to be named, also suggesting that Shukla enjoyed widespread support from within the BCCI.
“One has to calculate well and according to the current situation, Shukla is the most favoured candidate. He is not only on good terms with Thakur but also has the backing of top BJP officials. Keeping those equations in mind, one must realize that Pawar doesn't really have that support,” the official said. “Also, it is East Zone's turn to nominate the president and it is clear that Shukla is trying to work that angle in his favour. But relations change overnight in the BCCI."