Friday, October 23, 2020

Uttar Pradesh cricket body ‘mutes’ its members attending AGM via Zoom

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By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, Sep 26 : In a strange move, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has allegedly “muted” a large majority of participants — some say about 90 per cent — who on Saturday connected through the Zoom App for the annual general body meeting due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The disgruntled members have charged that it was done deliberately to muzzle the voices that sought answers on cricketing and governance issues.

It is gathered that 72 of the 109 members — belonging to districts, besides individuals and corporate houses — tried attending the AGM at 4 pm. But most of them were in for a shock when they found that their voice failed to reach the UPCA office-bearers as they were muted.

The other allegation is that the lengthy AGM agenda was gone through in just about 15 minutes. The initial few minutes were devoted to condolences that were paid to four senior UPCA members who passed away recently.

Before the AGM, an Apex Council meeting was held, again through the Zoom App, which was over within minutes. The Apex Council meeting too had a lengthy agenda.

“When members of the UPCA tried connecting with the office-bearers through Zoom, we discovered to our dismay that we were muted. We were ready to raise issues pertaining to administration, governance, and cricket in the state. But our voices were muzzled by the people in power, and that has disappointed us. We suspect that it was a deliberate attempt to silence us because we are sure that the office-bearers got the wind that we were going to ask questions,” several disgruntled members told IANS.

“In the first one-and-a-half minute, they paid condolences to the four departed souls and in the next thirteen-and-a-half minutes they completed the entire lengthy meeting agenda. No questions were taken by the office-bearers and no information was given voluntarily. Is this the way an AGM, and that too, of the most populous state of India, should be conducted? Remember, UPCA is a company formed under the Companies Act,” said a member.

Another member charged that his ID and password for the AGM did not match.

UPCA secretary Yudhvir Singh, who was re-elected as a Director at the AGM, did not respond to calls.

New acting president Pradip Gupta, however, said that there was problem in connectivity through Zoom. “The communication was clear; there was no problem,” the 67-year-old businessman from Firozabad told IANS.

Gupta was vice-president till Saturday’s AGM, and was nominated as acting president due to the vacancy that cropped up following the death of UPCA president Yadupati Singhnia of Kanpur on August 13. In its AGM agenda, UPCA said that since an election to elect Singhnia’s successor could not be held due to Covid pandemic, the seat was being filled temporarily.

“In view of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic [and the] resultant difficulties involved in fresh elections for the post of president, it was thought necessary and proper to temporarily fill the vacancy caused due to the death of Yadupati Singhania, president of the company, so that carrying out of smooth functioning of the company may not suffer,” read Item No.9 of the agenda.

Also, Item No.10 said that the UPCA Board of Directors on August 29 had considered and recommended to appoint Sushila Singhania, mother of Yadupati Singhnia and wife of late Gaur Hari Singhania, a former UPCA president, as Patron of UPCA, “as a mark of respect to her as well as Singhaia family”. Sushila Singhania was duly appointed UPCA Patron on Saturday.

However, some members claimed that that the UPCA constitution did not have any provision of appointing a Patron.

At the AGM, three directors — Yudhvir Singh, Riasat Ali and Prem Dhar Pathak — retired by rotation. But since they were eligible to re-election, they were re-elected directors.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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