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By Ikram Khan
Tuesday 05 Sep 2017
Ikram Khan

A new twist in the tale it was. And It all happened a day before the Special General Body Meeting. First Roshan Talwar resigned and a couple of hours later Ubhayakar followed suit before all except former chairman Harindra Shetty from the managing committee of the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) submitted their resignations. The new twist in the major tale shocked the racing fraternity. What next and what is in store was the hot topic of discussion late at night and it will take a while to get racing back on even keel at this premier centre.

The heat generated by the membership issue, it appeared was too hot to handle. The present committee spearheaded by chairman Y Jagganath had promised to give membership to 50 individuals nominated by the government and another 100 to owners, breeders and eminent state personalities. The idea to broad base membership recommended by the government didn’t go down well with a majority of the members who decided to shoot the proposal down at the Tuesday meeting and even before all this could happen the entire committee, save Harinder Shetty decided to step down.

“We did it in the interest of racing. The members failed to understand that opening up membership would provide a new dimension to the club. License to conduct racing was our priority and we needed the support of the members in this exercise, but the moment we realised that the members are not willing, we decided to step down and make way for the people who made claims that they will procure the license from the government in a day. Well if they can get this done, why not. I only want racing to resume at this centre and that’s my interest,” said Jagganath.

Managing committee member Chaduranga Kantharaj pointed out that it simply was a give and take situation. The demand by the government was not big . We made every effort to convince the members but it appears that the opposing group who regularly have been throwing a spanner in the wheel, not happy with the progress the game has made have managed to influence and gain the numbers. Well if they can get the license without doling out 50 memberships, good luck to them. They can run the show and I will continue to support and promote the game,” said Kantharaj.

On Tuesday, the members need to first elect an interim chairman who will play a stellar role in gaining the license required to conduct off-course betting at this centre before the members elect a new set of office bearers at the end of the month. It is a tough task taking into account that the government is not willing to compromise on its demand for the pound of flesh.