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Lalit Modi elected as RCA President

JAIPUR: Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was on Tuesday elected president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, setting the stage for yet another round of legal tussle between him and BCCI, which had threatened to ban RCA in anticipation of this result.

The election was conducted in December 2013 but the results were sealed following a Supreme Court directive. After much deliberation, the result was finally announced by a court-appointed observer in Jaipur on Tuesday.

As expected Modi won by a landslide margin, polling in 24 out of 33 votes, while his opponent Rampal Sharma earned just five.

Among other office-bearers, Somendra Tiwari was elected as the new secretary, while Pawan Goyal won the treasurer’s post. Mehmood M Abdi, counsel of Modi, has been elected as the deputy president of the RCA.

Modi was slapped with a life ban by the BCCI on September 25, 2013, year after its disciplinary committee found him guilty on eight charges of “indiscipline and misconduct”.

After Modi entered the fray in the RCA elections, BCCI had challenged the Rajasthan Sports Act, 2005, which allowed the former IPL chief to contest the presidential polls despite being banned for life by the Board.

Challenging the election, the BCCI pleaded that Modi should not have been allowed to contest and the election be quashed.

But the Supreme Court, in April, cleared the decks for the declaration of RCA’s election results.

Brushing aside the BCCI’s objection, a bench headed by Justice A.R. Dave directed the registry to send the results, in a sealed envelope by its appointed observer Justice (retd) N.M. Kasliwal.

The court, however, has said that anyone aggrieved of the outcome can challenge it before an appropriate authority. - PTI












BCCI ‘indefinitely’ suspends RCA

NEW DELHI: Just hours after Lalit Modi was declared the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association in Jaipur on Tuesday, the BCCI has “indefinitely” suspended RCA and appointed an ad-hoc body to run its cricket affairs.

“The BCCI President has indefinitely suspended RCA from participating in any BCCI activity. The decision has been taken as per the constitution clause No. 32, sub—clause 7, where the president has the right to suspend an association, which doesn’t conform with the rules and regulations of the BCCI. The decision was taken by interim president Shivlal Yadav,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said.

Asked if the chances of Rajasthan players being selected in various national teams will be affected because of this development, Patel said: “BCCI is pro-player. Our endeavour will be to look after the cricketers from Rajasthan. We will be forming an Ad-hoc body which will run cricket in Rajasthan, taking care of the interest of the players.”

The election was conducted in December last year but the results were sealed following a Supreme Court directive. After much deliberation, the result was finally announced by a court-appointed observer today.

As expected Modi won by a landslide margin, polling in 24 out of 33 votes, while his opponent Rampal Sharma earned just five.

The banned administrator, who has been living in London for the past four years, was allowed to contest the RCA elections held on December 19 last year under the supervision of a Supreme Court-appointed observer.

The BCCI disciplinary committee, comprising Arun Jaitley, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, had submitted a 134-page report in July, 2013, in which it had found Modi guilty of financial irregularities, indiscipline and “actions detrimental to the interest of the BCCI’”.

Later last year, the apex court made its retired judge Justice Kasliwal a principal observer to oversee the RCA elections. The elections had become contentious because Modi was in the fray for the president-ship.

Challenging the election, the BCCI pleaded that Modi should not have been allowed to contest and the election be quashed. - PTI













SC orders Sahara chief Subrata Roy to remain in jail

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the plea by Sahara chief Subrata Roy challenging its March 4 order sending him to judicial custody for not complying the order to return investors money by routing it through SEBI.

Roy and two directors were sent to judicial custody for the failure of group’s two companies’ SIRECL and SHICL to comply with its order to return investors’ Rs. 24,000 crore that they had collected through Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCDs).

Roy will continue to remain in custody as the court has asked his counsel to make a revised proposal to return investors’ money to secure his release.

Dismissing Roy’s plea, the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice K.S. Khehar said that there is “no merit and same is dismissed”.

The court said that after going through the judgment, Roy could make a revised proposal for returning the investors money as a condition to secure his release. - IANS













'Pak committed to peaceful resolution of Kashmir with India' 

ISLAMABAD: Emphasising on having a "peaceful neighbourhood", Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said his country is committed to engaging with India for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, through a sustained dialogue.

"We remain committed to reaching out to India and seeking peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including Kashmir, through a sustained dialogue. We believe the main dynamic in South Asia should be cooperation, not confrontation," Sharif said addressing the concluding session of Pakistan's Envoys Conference, focussed on the Middle East.

"The hopes and aspirations of one-fifth of humanity for a more hopeful future can be realised, only if we focus on accelerating our development, and harnessing our full potential," Sharif said.

His comments came just days after the powerful army chief Gen Raheel Sharif raised the Kashmir issue, calling it Pakistan's "jugular vein".

Sharif has been making the right noises for better relations with India even before he assumed power following the historic general election last year.

But continued tensions at the LoC, for most of last year that claimed lives of several Indian soldiers, had put a spanner in peace efforts.

Another area of uneasiness was the non-fructification of a liberalised trade regime between the two countries. After much enthusiasm initially, Pakistan now says it will sign the trade deal with the new government in India hoping that it will act as an ice-breaker.

India has suspended its official dialogue process with Pakistan though back-door diplomacy is on and Sharif has also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Addressing diplomats, Sharif said the defining principle of "our foreign policy remains peace for development".

"On the external front, our central emphasis has been on building a peaceful neighbourhood. Accordingly, I have pursued a policy of constructive engagement, with all our neighbours," he said.

On Afghanistan, Sharif said the key tenets of his government are "non-interference, support for the peace and reconciliation process, and building a bilateral relationship, marked by enhanced trade and economic cooperation".

He also said that Pakistan wants peace and tranquillity in the Middle East.

"We will maintain our policy of non-interference, in the internal affairs of states," he said, amid speculation that Pakistan shifted its policy on Syria under Saudi influence.

"We have an equal aspiration to forge closer bilateral ties with all countries in the region. Our efforts to develop bilateral ties with one country are not, and will not be, at the expense of another. Pakistan remains ready to take two steps to greet a hand extended in friendship," he said.

"Our approach to the transition in the Arab world, would continue to be guided by the principles, enshrined in the United Nations Charter," he added. - PTI













'Desperate' Modi raising caste issue not Priyanka: Cong

NEW DELHI: Congress today hit out at Narendra Modi after he accused Priyanka Gandhi of "insulting" him with the "neech rajniti" remark as he belonged to a backward caste, saying she never made any such insinuation and was only referring to BJP's "low-level" politics.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi alleged that the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate was indulging in "caste politics" in his desperate attempt to garner votes.

"It is unfortunate that he distorted Priyanka Gandhi's comments for political mileage. In BJP, whether one belongs to upper caste or lower caste, all of them are doing low-level politics," Alvi said.

"We never discriminate on caste basis and as far as this tweet is concerned, he (Modi) is doing caste politics. Nobody knows which caste Narendra Modiji belongs to? It is he himself who has disclosed that he belongs to OBC. He is doing this politics. Now he has come down to this level," he said.

Priyanka had hit out at Modi saying he had insulted his martyred father on Amethi's soil and accused the Gujarat chief minister of practising 'neech rajneeti'.

Modi earlier today invoked his 'backward class' status to further mount attack on the Congress' star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi.

"As I belong to a socially backward caste, they consider my politics to be of a low level (neech rajneeti)," Modi said in a series of tweets.

The BJP, meanwhile, defended Modi saying Priyanka was "ill-advised" in using the 'neech' expression.

"She (Priyanka) doesn't understand the impact it can have, the negative impact it can have especially at the time when this country is trying to extricate itself out of caste politics.

"It is really insulting and I think she should have really kept out of it, and, considering the candidate in Amethi (Rahul Gandhi) is not speaking," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said countering the Congress attack.

Congress' Meem Afzal said Modi was making a "desperate" attempt to be a member of the backward class.

"It was not Priyankaji's intention what Modi is saying," he said.

Afzal added that yoga guru Ramdev also attempted to indulge in such kind of statements and now his politics has been "finished". - PTI











Two killed, 30 injured as bus overturns 

JAIPUR: Two persons were killed and at least thirty others injured when the bus in which they were travelling overturned at Phagi here, police said today.

The incident occurred last night when the private bus which was on its way to Kherapati-Balaji for a religious "savamani" (supper) turned turtle as the driver lost control of the steering on Dudu-Phagi road, killing two persons and leaving at least 30 injured, police said.

The deceased were identified as Nandlal and Kailash Jain, they said.

The injured were rushed to SMS hospital here, police said. - PTI 




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