Arvind Kejriwal insists on felicitation of Virender Sehwag © Getty Images
CM Arvind Kejriwal insist on felicitation of World Cup-winning cricketer Virender Sehwag © Getty Images

New Delhi: Delhi High Court appointed observer Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal today said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “insisted” on having the state government felicitation of World Cup-winning cricketers on the field of play of Feroz Shah Kotla, which he could not have allowed as per BCCI directives. Mudgal, in fact, showed a chain of messages with a lawyer named Rahul Mehra (Delhi government’s counsel), who was talking to him on behalf of Kejriwal.”Rahul was sending me the messages of the CM as I did not speak to him personally. In one of the messages, it was written that it should be insisted that venue of the scheduled programme cannot be changed. I replied stating that DDCA is bound by BCCI’s directive which cannot be changed,” Mudgal told ALSO READ: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Bishan Singh Bedi felicitation at Feroz Shah Kotla cancelled by Delhi government after BCCI denies permission

“I told Rahul that alternate arrangement can be made but he sent a whatsApp reply on behalf of CM that stated: ‘No Sir’.” Mudgal showed the entire chain of conversation to the mediapersons, which also included a message sent by Mehra on CM’s behalf stating: “You are the boss.” “Once BCCI said that it cannot be allowed after the start of play, I had to follow the norms,” said Justice Mudgal. In fact, Mehra also demanded that Kejriwal should be allowed to walk up to the stands where school children were sitting and interact with them.However, the Delhi Police had strong objections as they felt that it could create security issues given that children will invariably try to rush towards the CM.

(REOPENS SPD 8) The Delhi government had sought permission to felicitate World Cup winners (1983 and 2011) from the state, along with former captain Bishan Singh Bedi. The ground is currently hosting the fourth Test between India and South Africa and the BCCI said as per rules, a ceremony like this could not have been allowed in the field of play in the middle of a game. Although the state government was free to use any other part of the ground, it refused to go ahead after being denied the access to field of play.

The Delhi government had intimated DDCA that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be felicitating 10 stalwarts from the state. The list of players to be felicitated included the names of Bishan Singh Bedi, Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir among others but the felicitation would have violated BCCI norms.