Till when will Gautam Roy & Bikash Baruah have a free run?
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 23: The malady of politicians heading sports bodies for donkey’s year, rampant corruption, conflict of interest and malpractices galore is seen at its worst in cricket. It took the Supreme Court to wield the broom and clean up the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), the richest cricket body in the world. But the rot in the BCCI has spread to most State cricket bodies, the fallout of which has been seen of late in the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).
The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) is no exception either. It has landed in controversy again after officials found 51 cheques worth Rs 12 lakh from the drawer of its secretary Bikash Baruah.
The cheques, some of them even dated 2010, were issued by BCCI for State players. Officials admit it was the responsibility of the secretary and treasurer Ghashyam Baruah to disburse the cheques to the players.
The cheques were found while the rooms in the stadium were being cleared for the South Asian Games.
There are questions whether Bikash Baruah and Ghashyam Baruah had any vested interest in sitting over the cheques and not handing them over to the players.
On Wednesday evening, the Association for Cricketers of Assam lodged an FIR against Bikash Baruah at Paltan Bazar police station alleging that the “act is tantamount to theft, more so because the validity of the cheques had expired long back”. The players’ body also sought investigation into all fincial transactions of the ACA.
The irregularities in the ACA are already under the glare of the Gauhati High Court which had earlier directed the police to keep in custody the account statements and other fincial documents of the cricketing body.
The lethargic progress of the construction of the Barsapara Stadium has also raised many questions about the ACA’s functioning.
The foundation stone of the stadium was laid in 2004 and the actual construction started in 2005. While the origil estimated cost of the project was Rs 100 crore, it was been revised to Rs 200 crore now. Similar projects in Jharkhand, gpur and Hyderabad which were started much later have already been completed and at much lower costs.
State Minister and ACA president Gautam Roy is directly monitoring the progress of the project. It is learnt that several works of the project were given without inviting tenders.
For reasons best known to the trio – Gautam Roy, Bikash Baruah and Ghashyam Baruah, the BCCI has stopped sending funds to ACA, which is in acute fincial crisis now.
There is a growing clamour within the ACA for ouster of its president, secretary and treasurer. Bikash Baruah, who had been hitting the headlines for all wrong reasons but despite that continuing in the post for years, has now been asked to step down by Gautam Roy, it is learnt.
However, Gautam Roy, instead of asking Bikash Baruah to resign, should take moral responsibility and put down his papers from the cricketing body.
The greatest tragedy in the malady afflicting ACA is that the State government has been a mute spectator all along, even though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi himself is the chief advisor of the State cricketing body.