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BTC NEEDS TO ADOPT A MORE SOFTER APPROACH

By Ikram Khan | 30 Jun 2024 | BANGALORE


The news emanating from the corridors of power on the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) license issue is that the Karnataka state government is not happy with the managing committee. And it is no secret that a couple of committee members met a senior cabinet minister, who made it clear that to seek a favourable dialogue which could provide a favourable solution to racing at this premier centre, the entire committee should first resign before the process is initiated. It is learnt that the committee members in the meeting with the influential minister disclosed that in the interest of the game the committee is ready and willing to quit. But to the dismay of the minister, who is also a member of the club nothing happened. 

Next in a meeting with the finance secretary and police commissioner, the committee, it appeared was more keen to press the government to file discharge application before the Magistrate Court, discharging the three accused of the BTC from the proceedings in the CC No:15909/2024 rather than make capital use of the opportunity to impress on the Government  nominated Stewards that the stakeholders in this game are hard hit and that the premier racing centre will lose its standing if racing is not allowed to be conducted in the months ahead. The committee with the back against the wall following the Division bench of High Court comprising the CJ and Judge Arvind in a order rejected the petition and the interim order of the single judge, understandably were not in a position to strike a big bargain. The first priority was to gain the license and to do that the committee needed to resign and most calling the shots were not willing to quit. The survival of the sport took a back seat and the seat in the boardroom appealed most. A couple of managing committee members not willing to relinquish their posts, it is learnt were arguing as to what is the guarantee that the government will provide the license if the committee resigns. It is a good and very valid point for debate, but BTC must understand that their hands are tied on the negotiating table. 

The other proposal which they placed before the Government nominated Stewards  is to file a joint memo before the Supreme Court to seek further time for final hearing of the Civil Appeals. The finance secretary and the Police Commissioner told the committee that they would review the two proposals in consultation with the government and revert back at the earliest. But with no favourable response from the government, the club is back against the ropes. 

On Saturday four committee members after a short debate decided to quit in the interest of the game. It was a brave and bold decision which was lauded by all the professionals and stakeholders."You need to make sacrifices in a crisis and Shivkumar Kheny, Dr CA Prashanth, Darshan Lokesh and Satish Gowda have shown the way, said a senior member of the club adding that it's time the BTC shed the aggressive attitude and adopt a more softer approach while dealing with the government. 

While four have resigned the rest including the chairman Arvind Raghavan, it is learnt have done an Escrow and will resign after the EGM likely to be held on July 29, that effectively means horses, trainers, jockeys and owners will be forced to cool their heels for another long month and  the pros are not impressed. The lack of urgency to put the game back on track defies logic. 

A member also pointed out that the bar licence of the club is suspended  from July 1. " The government is tightening the noose and soon will land the knock-out blow if the club doesn't fall in line in the weeks ahead,".