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Pawar, Patil in IPLgate
Published on 23 Apr. 2010 12:22 AM IST
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After Shashi Tharoor, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel is now facing the heat of IPL controversy as reports in the media indicate that Prime Minister Manmohan singh has sought details of his as well as Sharad Pawar’s involvement in the IPL row. The reports say that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met the Prime Minster with details about Praful Patel and his daughter Poorna’s alleged role helping Tharoor with the IPL Kochi franchise’s evaluation two days before they were made public. However, Pawar’s daughter and Sule’s wife Supriya has already denied any role of her husband in the IPL other than being an avid cricket follower.
A senior Congress leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed the IPL controversy will actually lead to the NCP’s ties with Congress getting more strengthened.
Meanwhile, BJP is seeking to fish in troubled waters with a senior leader, who asked not to be named, saying that the party’s strategy was only to target the Congress as Sharad Pawar’s party has eight members in the Lok Sabha and numbers will count when opposition moves a cut motion to the Finance Bill.
Mukherjee briefs PM
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday briefed the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the ongoing investigation against the owners of Indian Premier League (IPL) teams.
Reportedly, Dr. Singh and Mukherjee also discussed the names of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Praful Patel and Supriya Sule being drawn into the IPL controversy. Patel was drawn into the controversy when he confirmed media reports that his private secretary had e-mailed former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor documents containing projections of the new franchisee valuations in the IPL.
The confirmation comes just two days after Patel categorically denied any role in the Indian Premier League.
However, it has now emerged that Patel’s secretary, Champa Bharadwaj, had forwarded a mail to Tharoor’s personal mail account on March 19, two days before the bids were opened. It happened hours after IPL CEO Sundar Raman sent the document to Patel’s daughter and IPL hospitality manager Poorna Patel. The Kochi consortium surprisingly made the second-highest bid. Patel now says that it was Tharoor who had sought his help.
“Shashi Tharoor called me because he was putting together a team. He wanted me to speak to Lalit Modi and help him out. This has got nothing to do with IPL. This is a needless controversy,” claims Patel.
IT raids continue
For the second straight day, the crackdown on the Indian Premier League continues. Three Income Tax teams visited the Sahara office in Aliganj, Lucknow on Thursday.
Sahara had won the bid for the Pune IPL team in the recent auction of new teams. Sahara sources say the Income Tax officials surveyed the office to check papers in connection with the IPL controversy.
The I-T department sleuths also visited the offices of Royal Challengers Sports Private Ltd - the franchisee for Royal Challengers Bangalore Team - in Bangalore.
Meanwhile, Delhi Daredevils team owners, the G Group, has confirmed about income tax investigation. They say the management is cooperating with the officials.
In Kolkata, the Income Tax department, which surveyed the Kolkata Knight Riders and Gameplan offices yesterday, has issued summons to both entities to come to its office and explain details in papers confiscated from their premises.
A senior Income Tax official had told reporters last night that they had found “incriminating evidence” of irregularities. But the Income Tax Director General in Kolkata has said this is a routine part of the survey launched yesterday. Gameplan is a sports events management company closely associated with KKR.
The contract given to the event management company and that for the television rights will also be scrutinised. The IPL awards ceremony will be held in Mumbai on Friday, April 23.
Modi himself was questioned on Thursday by income tax and enforcement directorate officials at the hotel where he stays in Mumbai - the second time in 24 hours. For over 45 minutes, Modi then met with Mukesh Ambani at the Reliance office at Nariman Point.
Govt watching IPL: Gill
Government is “watching very carefully” the affairs of the Indian Premier League and it is time the cricket board BCCI is made accountable to the country, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister M S Gill said today.
“IPL is under radar, we are watching very carefully. Its affairs are being looked into with great details,” Gill said in the Rajya Sabha, winding up a debate on the working of his ministry.
Charging the BCCI with taking over “everything” to do with cricket after it got rich in the last 10-15 years, he said it is time the board “answers to India”.
BCCI rejects
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today rejected Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Modi’s contention that the April 26 IPL Governing Council meeting was illegal and made it clear that it would go ahead with the meeting as per schedule.
“It is his view point, everybody is entitled to their viewpoint,” BCCI president Shashank Manohar said when asked what he thinks about Modi’s contention that the meeting was unauthorised. The BCCI also disagreed with Modi’s stand that secretary N. Srinivasan could not convene the Governing Council meeting merely because he is part of an IPL franchise.
Modi should quit: Pataudi
Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi should step down if he has so much conviction in his innocence, said former India captain and IPL Governing Council member Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.
Pataudi said Modi, facing charges of financial irregularity, proxy investment and nepotism, is toeing the wrong line by deciding to shun the April 26 Governing Council meeting.

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