SRINAGAR: The ageing president of National Conference and former union minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, was shunted Monday as the chief of Jammu Kashmir Cricket Association which has been marred by charges of corruption linked to top functionaries.

Influential Shia cleric and J&K's sports minister Imran Reza Ansari was elected as the new president while as the influential bureaucrat, Mehboob Iqbal, who has a tainted past, was elected as the new chairman following fresh elections in the association on Monday.

A senior J&K government official said the decision to carry out fresh elections was taken after a rebellion broke out in the association with a majority of its 64 members wanting to elect a new president.

An extraordinary meeting of the association was called on Monday to hold fresh elections following which the working committee of the state's premier cricketing body was dissolved and a new body was elected, naming Ansari as the new president.

A court in Jammu, however, put on hold the election results and ordered continuation of Dr Abdullah as the JKCA president until further orders.

The 'disgraceful' exit will add to the miseries of Dr Abdullah whose falling health coupled with the last year's loss of Lok Sabha seat and his party's rout in assembly elections, marks the beginning of the end of one of J&K's most prominent political leaders.

Dr Abdullah remained the lifelong president of JKCA which was hit by the scam in 2012 when J&K Police registered an FIR against former treasurer, Ehsan Mirza and former General Secretary, Saleem Khan, for allegedly diverting Rs 50 crore, received from BCCI as subsidy, to their three different personal accounts opened in the name of the JKCA.

Soon after the lid was blown away by cops, Dr Abdullah ordered an inquiry into the wrongdoings and later removed all the officials publicly named in the scam from the JKCA.

However, the calls for his resignation only grew in coming months with the PDP, the then principal opposition in J&K, demanding his ouster on grounds that he can't evade blame for malpractices as he headed the association.

According to reports, Dr Abdullah figures as Accused No 5 in the list of officials who were responsible for diverting the cash meant for the game of cricket in J&K.

On 20-Jul-2015 12:16 PM, "Jehangir Ali"