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By Ikram Khan
Wednesday 06 Sep 2017
Ikram Khan

More than 200 members of the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) present at the Special General Body Meeting shot down the proposed resolution for increase in membership. In fact the resolutions were not taken up for discussion as the club articles of association stipulates that no change of articles can be made without approval of the government.  And with that the 50 membership to the government nominees issue went out of the window.  

Next the members chose former chairman Harindra Shetty, who was ousted by a no confidence motion passed against him before the summer season, to head operations of the club along with senior member T Jayaprakash following the resignation of all the members of the managing committee except Harindra Shetty on the eve of the EGM convened on Tuesday. The two now will pick three others to run the show on the lines of a care-taker committee till the new managing committee is elected on September 25.

The members made it clear that license was top on the priority list and the chosen few should initiate favourable dialogue with the government and gain the license to conduct racing and off-course betting at the earliest at this premier centre. Both Harindra Shetty and Jayaprakash promised the delighted members that they would do their best to obtain the license in the week ahead and put racing operations at BTC back on even keel.

“We will do our best to gain renewal of the license and I’m confident that the government will favourably respond to our plea. Bengaluru is a premier racing centre and the government understands that the racing fraternity depends a great deal on racing at this centre,” said Harindra Shetty.

Harindra Shetty further disclosed that the club will get rid of the CEO post. “We don’t need a CEO to run the affairs of the club. All we need is good administrative staff and a secretary to smoothly conduct racing at this centre,” said Shetty.

A majority of the members, who turned up to defeat the proposal for increase in membership delighted that the mission was accomplished without a fuss or raising a sweat revealed that apart from gaining license, Harindra Shetty and team should work to arrest the slide in the tote collections following the 28 percent GST on turnover which has hit the club hard. The members while agreeing that it is easier said than done pointed out that the club should explore more revenue generating options rather than depend on tote alone.

Aggressive marketing of the sport which has big spectator interest, next only to cricket can help in roping in sponsors for all classics and major plums. BTC sadly has been lacking on this front and it is time to focus on this and many more which will help keep the ball rolling while pursuing with the claim that a reduction in GST percentage is a must for the sport to survive.