Rajiv Shukla’s aide Akram Saifi accused of demanding ‘cash and prostitutes’ for selection in UP cricket team

A close aide of Congress member and IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla, Akram Saifi has been accused of involvement in ‘Sex-for-selection’ scandal and was forced to resign after he was caught in a sting operation.

In a sting operation, Saifi is alleged to have sought for bribes and asked for players to arrange for prostitutes to facilitate their selection into the Uttar Pradesh team.

The sting telecast by media showed Akram Saifi, who is also executive assistant to Rajeev Shukla demanding favours in “cash and kind” from another cricketer Rahul Sharma, to ensure that he is selected into the state team. Rajeev Shukla is currently a Director of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA).

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The BCCI immediately reacted and decided to investigate the matter as per its guidelines. The BCCI is seeking an explanation from Akram Saifi regarding the allegations made against him. It is reported that BCCI will also seek Rajeev Shukla’s view regarding this issue. “Saifi has tendered his resignation. When Mr Shukla’s view was sought on this, he said that it should be accepted with immediate effect,” a top BCCI official told PTI.

Reportedly, BCCI will appoint a commissioner under their regulations to seek an explanation from Akram Saifi regarding the allegations made against him. The commissioner is mandated to submit his findings within 15 days, which will then be passed on to the BCCI’s disciplinary committee.

Rahul Sharma, a player who has accused Saifi of corruption has not been part of Indian team or the state team. He has alleged that the Saifi sought bribes and other favours to ensure his selection in the team. He has also accused Saifi of issuing fake age certificates.

The Board’s Anti-Corruption Unit has requested all the audio tapes from the channel for investigation. “We have taken note of the sting and will examine the entire matter. Until we speak to the people involved, it is difficult to say anything as of now,” Ajit Singh, the chief of corruption unit said.

However, the UPCA has rejected all the charges of corruption against the board. Yadhveer Singh, secretary of the UPCA said, “We are open to any inquiry. We follow a very transparent selection process at the UPCA. I can’t comment on the conversation between the two as it is their personal matter,”

He also questioned the credibility of the player who has made the allegation. “I have checked about Rahul Sharma and found out that he has never even been a part of the state probables. He has no credibility,” he added.

Former India player and UP captain Mohammad Kaif said that the allegations have shocked him and demanded a probe into the matter. Kaif captained the Uttar Pradesh team to its maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2005-06.

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