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By Ikram Khan
Friday 29 Sep 2017
Ikram Khan

Chief Minister Siddaramiah is demanding his pound of flesh.  50 memberships for government nominees. The 350 club members are in no mood to yield. They simply have closed the back door nice and tight. And in this cat and mouse game the racing fraternity is hit hard.

At a time when concrete designs and plans should be drawn in the interest of the game, the men calling the shots are sticking with the request policy. It simply will not work. The CM is adamant and he has made it clear in meetings with the adhoc committee and one with the newly elected body that until the BTC comes up with an acceptable solution, the stalemate will continue.

Harimohan, the new chairman in the hot seat is positive that his brigade will get the horses back on track.  “ We first need to gain the support of the members and then devise a couple of new formulas which will yield results. I understand that there should be some give and take and we will work on that,” said Harimohan.

Harimohan understands that it is easier said than done. He also is aware that the members are not ready and willing to make the big sacrifice.  “Fear is the key and the members fear that in the years ahead it will not remain an exclusive racing club, “said the new chief adding that the new committee has an appointed date with the CM on Tuesday and hopefully they will favourably settle the issue.  

With their backs to the wall, the club let’s face it has only two options. Toe the government line and broad-base membership or fight the issue in court. At this point in time, the court option appears dicey taking into account that the forthcoming CID report can cause considerable damage while tilting the scales in favour of the government.  The 50- membership is the best bet and it offers good bargaining power to the new decision makers and hopefully they can get a reduction in the GST percentage which will help support and promote the sport which to say the least is only surviving in the Oxygen tent.  

A couple of senior influential members are of the view that it’s time to seek solutions rather than sit on the problem. The members need to put their hands up and offer support to end the crisis. They need to realise that the sport is bigger than any individual and work towards gaining a favourable solution. Broad-basing of membership also provides a good opportunity to get some eminent personalities in the list and that will enhance the image of the club which took a beating following the alleged doping complaint which led to the government ordering a CID probe.

While it is not necessary to strictly toe the government line. The members must provide the new committee a couple of new options which the decision makers can work on to strike a balanced deal.

“All of this will happen and the new committee will offer an acceptable solution in  the days ahead,”said Harimohan confident that his trusted brigade will pull the plug and diffuse the membership bomb.