Kolkata: Jagmohan Dalmiya appears to remain in power at the Cricket Association of Bengal for a fifth successive term, sweeping aside the challenge from little-known Samar Paul, the only contest that will mark the 81th annual general meeting here tomorrow. A former joint-secretary during 2007-08, Paul threw his hat in the ring to fight against the former ICC and BCCI president who had never lost an election at the CAB.
But the Aryan Club representative was keen to achieve the near impossible, even as his move was seen to get limelight from the CAB AGM which had seen some bitter fight in the past. "For 30 years, he (Dalmiya) is influencing the CAB. We have to stop it and bring transparency," Paul, who has won only once from six contests at CAB, said.
He further hope to get support of Sourav Ganguly who is the general secretary of Barisha Sporting Club, although it's yet to be seen whether the former India skipper turns up for the AGM as his father is ill. Besides the one-off fight, there is not much in store at the AGM tomorrow as there will be one of a kind reshuffle when joint-secretary Biswarup Dey and treasurer Subir Ganguly interchange their roles, a move Dalmiya termed as masterstroke.
Sujan Mukherjee will continue as the other joint secretary while Alok Nandi, Sambhunath Poddar, Malay Basu and Subhas Kundu are the Dalmiya group's choice for the vice-presidents. This is for the only second time in five years that the 72-year-old Dalmiya with about three decades at the helm of different international and national cricket organisations faced an opposition.
Dalmiya had returned to power ousting the incumbent Prasun Mukherjee, the then Commissioner of Police, by a convincing margin. The CAB heavyweight had held the top post since 1993 barring a 19-month hiatus after his expulsion from Sharad Pawar-led BCCI following fund embezzlement charges in December 2006.
CAB had witnessed some bitter contests like in 2006 when Dalmiya pipped the then CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-backed candidate Prasun Mukherjee by five votes. Synonymous with Bengal cricket, Dalmiya never lost in CAB, though he had to step down in December 2006 after the BCCI ban. Known as a master negotiator, Dalmiya was the first Asian chief of the ICC (1997-2000). He was the secretary of the BCCI from 1993-1996 and later became the president. (2001-2005).
The former ICC and BCCI supremo never lost any election after he held the top post since 1992-93 except for a 19-month break from end December 2006 to July 2008. The CAB's electorate comprises 121 votes - 94 first and second division Kolkata clubs, 18 district units, eight universities, and a vote from the Office Sports Federation.