It will be a straight fight between former secretary Sanjay Naik and ex-managing committee member Iqbal Shaikh for the vice-president’s post of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), the elections for which will be held on Friday.
When MCA went to the polls in October, there was no contest for the vice-president’s post as incumbent Amol Kale fought president’s elections—where he subsequently beat Sandeep Patil—while Naveen Shetty, who was the only candidate to file his nomination for the post, had withdrawn his candidature.
Naik is confident that the Sharad Pawar-Ashish Shelar Group will once again emerge victorious on Friday. “My candidature was decided by our group leaders Sharad Pawar and Ashish Shelar. We have reached out to all the voters, we are very well prepared and confident about our victory,” said Naik, who added that he wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t get the opportunity to go for re-election for the secretary’s post during the October election.
He added: “All the elected members are now one group only. After the election we have been working as one unit. Because of that (you will see) there will be only one group omnipresent tomorrow and that will be Pawar-Shelar Group.”
Shaikh, a former ACP with Mumbai Police, who has served MCA for last 36 years in various capacities said that he was pressurised to withdraw his candidature but decided to stand firm. In October, the 68-year-old had filed his nomination for the chairman’s post of the T20 Mumbai League but later pulled out.
“They pressurised my proposer and seconder to withdraw my nomination form. But the election officer J S Saharia gave a fantastic order in my favour. They also tried to put pressure on me through other sources but I haven’t succumbed. I’m standing firmly and courageously to see that the democratic process of election happens. In the recent past, MCA’s image has been dented due to unhealthy practices. I want to salvage that image and that’s why I’m contesting the election,” said Shaikh, who is backed by the Cricket First Group. Patil, who was group’s presidential candidate, has also urged voters to back Shaikh.
“I have received a lot of support from all quarters. I have lot of confidence that people will vote for me if they don’t succumb to pressure put on them,” he added. A total of 356 voters will be eligible to cast their votes which includes 210 maidan clubs, 43 international cricketers, 35 school and college clubs, and 68 office clubs.
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