It will be a neck-and-neck battle between the Big-4 chartered accountant firms and representatives of the small and medium practitioners at the elections of the Ahmedabad branch of the CA Institute which will be held on January 9.
The Vibrant 8 panel, supported by Yamal Vyas and Durgesh Buch, and Care panel which has Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Delloitte, KPMG -- known as Big-4 -- will contest the eight seats of the Ahmedabad branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
Unlike regional and central council elections, small and medium practitioners could play a major role in these elections.Around 4100 voters are almost equally distributed between the two groups. There are 17 CAs in the fray for eight seats.
Eight candidates are contesting under the banner of two panels: Vibrant-8 and Care, while one CA is standing for election independently.
In the past, the big-4 CA firms were not interested in the elections of the CA Institute. However, they have become active after the Satyam Computers scam was unearthed.
Membership of the CA institute will give them some backup if Satyam-like cases take place in the future, said sources. It should be noted that two members of the central council of ICAI, Dhinal Shah and Mahesh Sharda, represent E&Y and Delloitte respectively.
As the Big-4 has wiped out small firms in regional and central councils of the CA institute, the small firms do not want to leave any stone unturned.
The Big-4 gives mandate to their CAs to vote in favour of the candidate supported by them and same is the case with some of the leading corporate houses for whom these firms work.
Vibrant-8 has again fielded its two existing members, Jainik Vakil and Devang Doctor. ICAIs former president Sunil Talatis son Aniket Talati is also contesting.On the other hand, Care panel has thrown new faces in the fray.
Sunil Talati, former president of ICAI, was confident of Vibrant-8s victory. The candidates of Vibrant-8 represent the small and medium practitioners and they are experienced and mature, said Talati.
When contacted by DNA, Durgesh Buch declined to comment on the issue because of the code of conduct.