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Uncertainty looms over the Bangalore Summer Season

  May 16 , 2024

The Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) is engulfed in a crisis with a day remaining for the scheduled start of the prestigious Bangalore Summer Season. There is widespread despair as the club has not yet received the necessary license to conduct its races. The professionals have slowed down the work pattern of their horses due to this uncertainty. The Chief Minister remains adamant, insisting on withdrawing a case pending in the Supreme Court before issuing the license.

The Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) is caught in a legal quagmire over the ownership of its land, with a Supreme Court case that has been listed for final hearing since January. The uncertainty is set to persist, as the court`s final decision is now delayed until at least July due to its month-long holiday recess. This prolonged limbo casts a shadow over the racing season.

BTC Chairman Aravind Raghavan finds himself in an especially precarious position. Having previously assured the Chief Minister of a resolution, he now faces the daunting reality of unmet promises. Raghavan, known for his disruptive tendencies even before assuming leadership, continues to stir controversy. His disregard for established procedures has only exacerbated the club`s difficulties.

The delay in the court`s decision has caused significant confusion and concern among the club`s members and officials. The future of racing at BTC hinges on a resolution to this ownership dispute, but with no clear end in sight, the club remains in a state of uncertainty. The ongoing legal battle and leadership challenges are jeopardising the sport`s future, calling for urgent and effective action.

Adding to the club`s woes, BBMP officials have frequently visited the premises, threatening to lock them up for non-payment of arrears. The club argues that the land area has been significantly reduced due to road expansion, which should lead to a reassessment of taxes based on the current land size. The arrears claimed are big and even a reassessment will not significantly reduce the claim made by the BBMP.

Furthermore, BTC bookmakers find themselves entangled in a legal dispute, contesting the Central Crime Branch`s jurisdiction to conduct raids for GST evasion. Despite their efforts, the court has affirmed the police`s prerogative to investigate. Facing this setback, the bookmakers are contemplating appealing to the Supreme Court. However, the crux of the issue lies in the potential ramifications for the club, as the bookmakers contribute significantly to its revenue through stall fees and increased attendance. Should the tax authorities intensify their scrutiny, it could severely impact these vital contributors. Historically, the club could sustain its operations through revenue from the operated totalizator pools. Yet, with the imposition of high GST rates and challenges to the tote system, the club`s financial stability hangs precariously in the balance.

This confluence of issues—legal battles, governmental pressure, and financial strain—has left the Bangalore Turf Club in an unprecedented crisis. Enthusiasts, professionals, and those dependent on racing activities are all deeply distressed by the ongoing situation.

The Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) is facing a troubling lack of commitment from its members, raising serious concerns about the future of racing in the city. Unlike social clubs, the BTC has a specific mandate to conduct races. Yet, the club`s general body has been filling vacancies with individuals who lack passion for the sport, merely because they are connected to existing members. These individuals show little interest in whether racing continues, their commitment limited to an annual fee of just Rs 250.

This disinterest extends to interactions with the government. Most members reportedly oppose any settlements, reminiscent of the resistance in 1985 when the government demanded amendments to the Articles of Association. At that time, members who committed to racing stepped down to ensure racing persisted. Today, however, the leadership largely consists of non-racehorse owners, who remain indifferent to the cessation of races. Many BTC members are more involved with other social clubs in Bangalore, relegating BTC to a secondary role in their lives.

The government`s refusal to grant a license has exacerbated the situation, yet this has elicited no significant response or protest from the members. The professional community`s silence on this issue is equally disheartening. They have failed to raise their voices or express concern about the prolonged delay in securing the necessary license. The club owes an explanation to its patrons but the club is least bothered by its patrons. The club does not believe in being transparent.

The current Managing Committee should take decisive action: either resign due to their inability to resolve the issue with the government or secure a clear mandate from the members to negotiate with the authorities in the best interest of the sport. The survival of racing in Bangalore depends on a renewed sense of dedication and effective leadership within the BTC.

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Total Comments : 5
Posted by Ravi Kumar on ( May 16 , 2024 )
The stewards of BTC are bloody a bunch of useless jokers in the racing history. They are so useless that they are regularly tapping the door of bookmaker to take them to the CM, thooo what a shame to this shameless jokers. The members must immediately throw this bafoons out. They should be banned henceforth from contesting any election and their right of voting should also be withdrawn, only then the others will learn a lesson.
Posted by Jagadish. B on ( May 17 , 2024 )
Let the present set of members resign en masse .Let Mr Poonawalla take over as in the case of ooty .support him fully, allow him to negotiate with the government in the best interest of all connected to racing.
Posted by V.K.Sharma on ( May 17 , 2024 )
When the wind blows,the grass and leaves,by natural instinct bend down for self-protection. If one is stubborn and stiff one will be destroyed.The BTC Committee members should go on a study tour with family members to Hong KongRace club ( Happy Valley and Shatin) and Ascot to study how efficiently they operate_like officials of GreaterBMC and Honourable ministers did to make Namma Bengaluru garbage and crater free_ The outcome? OPERATION SUCCESSFUL, Patient died!Grater Bengalore becameCrater Bengalore! Like trouble free service world over means trouble is free, absolutely no extra charges added to the cost price! In exchange the delegates can impart knowhow to evade tax and encourage illegal betting.
Posted by Govindraj on ( May 17 , 2024 )
The stewards of BTC have clearly displayed their act of incompetency in getting a license from the government. Sometime back the government wanted to appoint a Administrator which was opposed by these jokers. Arvind, Kheny, Wahid (Mukri) Gowda should all be thrown out immediately. It`s also so shame that they are reaching out to a bookmaker to.hold their hand and take them to CM.
Posted by DYANESHWAR V BHAT on ( May 17 , 2024 )

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