How Arun Jaitley Ignored Corruption In The DDCA During His Tenure As Its President

18 November 2015
For years, BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad (second from left) protested against the corruption spreading in the Delhi District Cricket Association, of which Jaitley was president for over a decade.
Qamar Sibtain / India Today Group / Getty Images
For years, BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad (second from left) protested against the corruption spreading in the Delhi District Cricket Association, of which Jaitley was president for over a decade.
Qamar Sibtain / India Today Group / Getty Images

Last week, on 12 November 2015, the Delhi government set up a three-member committee to look into alleged instances of corruption and financial mismanagement within the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA). This committee was established after former cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad approached Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and requested for government intervention in the matter. Yesterday, the committee recommended that the Board of Control for Cricket in India suspend the DDCA immediately. In this excerpt from Talk of the Town, his May 2015 profile of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Praveen Donthi examines Jaitley’s tenure as the president of the DDCA, a post he held for 13 years.

In January, the former cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi and others wrote a complaint to Narendra Modi about his finance minister. Jaitley had “misused his position as Leader of Opposition to prevail upon various ministries to spare DDCA of punitive action,” they wrote, referring to the Delhi and District Cricket Association. “Mr Jaitley is now heading two important ministries (finance and corporate affairs) which are supposed to take action against DDCA for infraction of various rules and norms of the companies act, as indeed criminal law.”

As the journalist James Astill wrote in his 2013 book The Great Tamasha: Cricket, Corruption and the Turbulent Rise of Modern India, “No Indian cricket administration is so notorious for nepotism and misrule” as the association that governs Delhi cricket, “also known as the Delhi Daddies Cricket Association, or the Delhi District Crooks Association.” Jaitley became the DDCA’s president in December 1999, less than two years after he became a member of the association and a few months after he became a union minister. He held the post for 13 years.

Praveen Donthi is a former deputy political editor at The Caravan.

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