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Elite clubs Bangalore Club & Century to hold polls this month

The two clubs will go to polls in the last week of this month - Bangalore Club on June 28, and the Century Club will have polls a day earlier.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 10, 2015, 10.10 AM IST
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Vintage cars displayed at the Bangalore Club Vintage and Exotic Car Display 2015.
Vintage cars displayed at the Bangalore Club Vintage and Exotic Car Display 2015.
BENGALURU: Two high profile clubs in the City are going to polls this month to usher in new managements. While former bureaucrat K Jairaj is already elected unopposed to the president's post of Century Club, his educationist wife Poornima Jairaj is contesting for the vice president's post at the 147-yearold elite Bangalore Club.

The two clubs will go to polls in the last week of this month - Bangalore Club on June 28, and the Century Club, founded by Sir M Visvesvaraya in 1917 will have polls a day earlier.

Together, they have 10,000 plus members in all categories.

Bangalore Club sits on 13 acres of land in the posh central Bengaluru area. It counts former chief minister SM Krishna, billionaires VG Siddhartha of Cafe Coffee Day and Infosys co-founders Nandan Nilekani, `Kris' Gopalakrishnan and Shibulal among its members.

At both the clubs, convention has it that the vice-president is usually elected unopposed as president of the club in the following year.

Jairaj's route to the Century Club's top post, therefore, was paved last year itself. Radhakrishnan GV , current vice president at the Bangalore Club, is deemed president next year.

Three senior members - Hosmat Hospital chairman Dr Thomas Chandy, chartered accountant R Ramakrishnan and Poornima Jairaj are in the fray for the vice president's post at Bangalore Club.

The club, where a membership is considered a passport to rubbing shoulders with the creme de la creme of Bengaluru, has a long waiting list of aspiring members. There is a waiting period of 15-20 years, say senior members.

The club grants membership only after an interview with the applicant and voting among the committee members. The central attraction of the club is a heritage building, though it has modern amenities on its vast campus. Britain's war-time premier Sir Winston Churchill was a member here.

"The club is run very well with its own set of etiquette and rules. Members don't want to get into any controversy," said MP Shyam, a member who is a promoter of Laxmi Vilas Bank and director at Advaith Hyundai and Akshaya Motors.

The Club, however, was in the news for the wrong reasons a few months ago when the excise department suspended its bar licence for flouting excise regulation. This was the result of a fight between IPS officer RP Sharma and the club management which ended after the club revoked Sharma's suspension.

Dr Chandy contested last year too but was unsuccessful. He is reaching out to members this year as well.

"If elected, and if I become President later, I will bring my 20 years of management and leadership abilities to the club," said Chandy (60). "I will ensure it remains a premier club," he added. Poornima Jairaj declined to comment.

Ramakrishnan said the members have ensured that the club is financially healthy, and the club's deposits are earning decent returns. "Since the club cannot reward its members in the form of financial dividends, I wish to give back by way of the best of services such as sports and fellowship, if elected," he said, and added that he will maintain the tradition and heritage of the club.
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