With media baron Rajat Sharma resigning from the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Saturday morning, most of the Board members claim that they have decided to remove him in Friday night’s “emergency meeting” for “financial irregularities”. The tussle started in the DDCA, soon after former Finance Minister and the cricketing body’s mentor Arun Jaitley passed away in August. Though all members were Jaitley’s handpicked men, now they have a totally divided house and were demanding the removal of Rajat Sharma.
On November 13, out of 16 members including President Rajat Sharma, a resolution was proposed by eight members for cutting the powers of Rajat Sharma from the day-to-day administration of DDCA and entrusting it to the Apex Council. The same day two other resolutions were also passed to reinstate Vinod Kumar Tihara as the Secretary of DDCA, who was earlier sidelined by Rajat Sharma. A third resolution sought the removal of CEO Ravikant Chopra. According to the anti-Rajat Sharma faction, on Friday evening meeting they got the support of 11 members and they decided to announce the removal of Rajat Sharma.
It is a known secret in Delhi that the campaign against Rajat Sharma is spearheaded by the Hockey Federation President Narinder Batra, who was also a trusted acolyte of Arun Jaitley. DDCA Secretary Vinod Kumar Tihara, an arch-rival of Rajat Sharma is enjoying the support of Batra, who is the brother-in-law of late Lalit Suri, promoter of Bharat Hotels. Jaitley’s close associate and Lalit Suri’s wife Jyotsna Suri is now looking after the affairs of Bharat Hotel chains.
According to insiders, the tussle reached its peak after the fund collection for the ceremony of the naming of Arun Jaitley Pavilion in Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. Anti-Rajat Sharma faction alleges that Rs.1.5 crores were collected from the Sanjeev Goenka Group and Sharma without consulting the Board went ahead and spent the funds on his own. They also accuse that Rs.25 lakhs have gone missing.
Rajat Sharma in his resignation letter also indicates that things were not going in the right direction in the DDCA and he was not ready to compromise his “principles of integrity.” He also claims that during his tenure, the empty coffers of DDCA are now having Rs.25 crores. Sharma’s detractors trash this “empty coffer” claim and say this statement is an insult to the late Arun Jaitley, who was mentoring DDCA for the past two decades.
They accuse Rajat Sharma of crossing all limits and misusing Jaitley’s “goodwill” and making tall claims on his proximity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and tried to throw his hat in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
This is not the first time that the DDCA is embracing controversies. A series of financial allegations were raised against Arun Jaitley by cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad. In an interview with noted activist Madhu Kishwar in December 2015, Bishan Singh Bedi came out with series of allegations against Arun Jaitley in stadium construction and other financial irregularities. In the explosive interview, the iconic cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi said that he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Swachh Cricket like Swachh Bharat in a series of letters seeking probe by the SFIO (Serious Frauds Investigation Office).
Rajat Sharma’s sudden resignation shows that so many murky things are going to tumble out from DDCA in the coming days.
 ‘Won’t compromise on honesty,’ Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president – Nov 16, 2019, Hindustan Times
 Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad level serious allegations against Arun Jaitley and DDCA – Dec 18, 2015, YouTube Manushi channel