Akhilesh Yadav questions Jay Shah's cricketing credentials as BCCI Secretary

The Samajwadi Party leader raised the question in response to prime minister Narendra Modi's allegations against him on grounds of dynastic politics.

Akhilesh Yadav and Jay Shah
BCCI secretary Jay Shah (L) and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav (Photo source: Twitter)

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Often in Indian politics today, one hears about arguments and counter arguments over the term ‘nepotism’. Top leaders of the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) often accuse their opponents of engaging in dynastic politics and nepotism. Be it the Indian National Congress or regional parties such as the Samajwadi Party (SP), the BJP’s stalwarts including prime minister Narendra Modi have targeted them saying they have always prioritised their families and kin over everybody else.

SP presidentAkhilesh Yadav, who is often targeted by the BJP over this since he is the son of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, recently decided to pay the saffron opponents back in their own coin. In an interview to news channel NDTV, the 48-year-old former chief minister of the state which is currently witnessing assembly elections, asked why is it so that the son of the BJP’s second-most powerful leader has become a member of the cricketing fraternity?

Jay Shah has been in cricket administration for some years now

Yadav’s target was Amit Shah, the BJP’s second-in-command after prime minister Modi and India’s home minister, whose son Jay Shah is the secretary of the Indian cricket board, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) — a position he took up in 2019. The 33-year-old businessman has no playing background but has served in cricket administration of his home state of Gujarat before entering the BCCI. In January 2021, he also took over as the president of the Asian Cricket Council.

Countering one of Modi’s electoral speeches in Balia, UP, where he raised the issue of nepotism several times to attack the opponents, Yadav said in the interview, “I heard the speech he (Modi) gave in Balia. He spoke about family and nepotism 15 times in his speech. And in the whole day, he must have spoken at least 25 times about extreme nepotism. I want to ask him that just because nobody is talking about his family, does not mean he’s not family-oriented.”

“How has the son of his second-in-command entered the world of cricket? Yogi Adityanath, the current Chief Minister, if his uncle wasn’t in the [Gorakhpur] mutt, perhaps our chief minister wouldn’t have been heading the mutt either,” Yadav added.

The seven-phase election in Uttar Pradesh will conclude on Monday, March 7, and the results will be announced on March 10, along with the results of elections in some other states.

During the election campaigning, the state’s ruling BJP has tried to project Yadav, who served as the chief minister between 2012 and 2017, as an ineffective administrator who was helped by the fact that he is the son of Mulayam.