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Govt asks IPL organisers for new schedule
NEW DELHI, MAR 13 (Agencies):
Published on 13 Mar. 2009 10:45 PM IST
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Taking into account all the factors, the home ministry has advised the IPL organizers that it may not be feasible to hold the matches at per the revised schedule submitted by them on March 7. The home ministry said that IPL organizers have been advised to accommodate the concerns of the various state governments and draw up a revised schedule and submit it to the ministry. For Bangalore, Karnataka has expressed its inability to provide security on two match days but has agreed to provide security on the remaining four match days. For Chennai, Tamil Nadu has agreed to provide security because the matches are scheduled after the elections. For Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh has expressed its inability to provide security during the election period. Delhi said it cannot provide security and asked for the matches to be rescheduled after the elections on May 7. Punjab and West Bengal have agreed to provide security for the matches at Mohali and Kolkata if they are not required to release state police personnel for election duty. For Mumbai and Nagpur, Maharashtra made it clear that it would be able to provide security only if additional companies of central paramilitary forces are provided to them on match days. The state has also said that it can provide security for the matches scheduled after April 30, when the elections in state would be over. Earlier, the Union home ministry held a video conference with senior officials of the states where IPL matches are scheduled to be played next month. Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta held consultations with seven states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal during which he was apprised of the security problems for hosting the mega event. The states are understood to have again told the home ministry during the 90-minute video conference that it was not possible to hold the Twenty20 matches without additional security personnel from the central grid. After the states expressed their views, Gupta held a meeting with home minister P Chidambaram who will take a final call on the tournament beginning on April 10. The meeting was also attended by the security top brass and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan. Concerned over availability of paramilitary forces in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Home Ministry had sent a revised schedule to the states concerned on March seven avoiding the polling dates. Barring Tamil Nadu, all other states have agreed to host the matches with a rider that at least five to six companies (500-600 personnel) of paramilitary forces are kept at the disposal of the state police for security related issues, official sources said. Reports suggest that only Delhi is willing to host the league and the elections simultaneously. On Thursday, the West Bengal government said it would request the Centre for an additional 30 companies of paramilitary forces to hold the IPL match in Kolkata on May 4 as the date was close to the Lok Sabha polls in the state scheduled on May 7.

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