Vijay Patil files nomination, set to be elected MCA president
Vijay Patil is not an politician himself but comes with political lineage. (Getty Images)
- Vijay Patil will soon be crowned as the new MCA President
- Vijay Patil is not a politician himself but comes with political lineage
- Patil fought hard against Sharad Pawar for the top post in 2015 but could not overcome Pawar's political nous
For the first time, resulting out of Lodha reforms, 39 international cricketers from Mumbai will be making the voter base in addition to the 350 clubs that vote in Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections slated for October 4th.
However, cricketers with a right to vote from Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Zaheer Khan will ironically have only two cricketers to choose from amongst 38 who have filed their nominations across 14 posts. Former Mumbai cricketers Amit Dani and Ravi Thakkar are the only cricketers vying for managing committee posts; subordinates to the office-bearers.
The sorry state of affairs is partly due to the winnability quotient taking prominence. However, the same Lodha reform clauses that were meant to facilitate cricketers into the game's administration have also played a role, bowling out cricketers with stringent conflict of interest rules. "We wanted to field Sandeep Patil as our presidential candidate but he could not qualify due to his conflict with his commentary contract," a senior administrator of Bal Mhadalkar group tells India Today.
The likes of former India captains Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajit Wadekar have contested in the past unsuccessfully for President's post. But in the first elections post reforms, the picture gets bleaker for cricketers wanting to foray into administration.
MCA's international stadium is named after a late politician Sheshrao Wankhede and ever since political heavyweights of the day have remained interested and invested in running Mumbai cricket.
It's no different this time but with the cooling-off and tenure clause coming in the picture, many have had to use the proxy route to stay in power.
Former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Manohar Joshi, Sharad Pawar, and Vilasrao Deshmukh have served as MCA Presidents over the last three decades. But this won't be a year for a political potboiler.
The soon to be crowned MCA President Vijay Patil is not a politician himself but comes with political lineage; his father Dr. DY Patil has been Congress politician and Governer of three states.
"I have to be very candid, considering stature of people who have been Presidents of MCA and the rich legacy is has, to be considered for the post of President, unanimously, is humbling," he spoke after filing his nomination.
Patil fought hard against Sharad Pawar for the top post in 2015 but could not overcome Pawar's political nous.
The weight of the Chief Minister's chair also makes its presence felt in the final analysis. Amol Kale, a Nagpur based industrialist and close aid of CM Devendra Fadnavis is fielded by the Bal Mhadalkar group for Vice President and allowed free sailing with no contest from opposing, Cricket for Change group.
Maharashtra state sports minister and former MCA President Ashish Shelar backed Sanjay Naik is contesting for the crucial Secretary's position but likely to face stiff resistance from the seasoned administrator and pitch curator Nadeem Menon.
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik who has unsuccessfully contested in past MCA elections has fielded his son Vihang Sarnaik, this time for one of the nine Managing committee posts.
While none of the political candidates this time are heavyweights, a look at representatives of 350 clubs' voter base would tell you, there will be no shortage of mega politicians turning up on the voting day. Starting from Aditya Thackrey who could be the next Deputy CM of the state, his father and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackrey, BJP's current minister Ashish Shelar, NCA politician Jitendra Awahad - politicians across party lines have stakes and will come for voting.