BJP demands Tharoor's dismissal

BJP demands Tharoor's dismissal

The party said it was not concerned with the internal management of BCCI or IPL but was certainly concerned about “the conduct” of a minister of the government of  India.
“Recent developments have probed that he is enfant terrible of this government. He has a history sheet of a conduct unbecoming of a minister,” said the party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad. The BJP spokesperson demanded a CBI investigation into the Rs 1,530-crore IPL deal in which Tharoor has said he played the role of a mentor and helped the consortium that won the franchise of the Kochi team.

Pushkar, who is said to be close to Tharoor, has a shareholding worth Rs 70 crore in the IPL Kochi franchise and the BJP leader alleged that she has been given the share “without paying because she is close to Tharoor.”

The BJP alleged that it was not his love to bring cricket to Kerala but his desire to commercially benefit from it that prompted him to intervene in the matter.  Tharoor has admittedly intervened repeatedly to help the Kochi franchise, the party spokesman said.

‘Probe will reveal murky details’

 The row between Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi over the shareholders of IPL Kochi team intensified on Tuesday.Sources said an inquiry would reveal not just the composition of the shareholders but also the possibility of unknown persons having used fronts to invest in the team. A probe would also reveal the mystery behind Pushkar’s “free” equity.

The controversy over the Kochi team’s ownership structure came into the open on Monday as Modi made it public on his Twitter account which also showed Pushkar, who is said to shortly wed Tharoor, owning Rs 74 crore worth free equity. He disclosed the names of the free equity holders in the little known RSW. Modi charged Tharoor with asking him not to disclose the ownership pattern of the Kochi team.

In his statement, Tharoor said he “neither invested nor received a rupee for my mentorship of the team. Whatever my personal relationships with any of the consortium members, I do not intend to benefit in any way financially from my association with the team now or at a later stage… Their unexpected success upset the plans of a lot of powerful people, who had wanted the franchise to go elsewhere... Various attempts were made by  Modi and others to pressure the consortium members to abandon their bid in favour of another city in a different state. Modi raised assorted objections to the bid documents but finally had no choice but to approve them… to discredit the team and create reasons to disqualify it so that the franchise can be awarded elsewhere…”.
Vivek Venugopal, co-owner of the Kochi IPL franchise, told a TV news channel that the team has written to Manohar and demanded that Modi reveal the shareholding structures of all the other IPL teams owned by consortiums. The Kochi team will hold a meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to take legal action or not.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Congress MP Rajeev Shukla, who is also BCCI vice president, also met Gandhi. Shukla, however, said he did not discuss the issue with her.

The issue also reached the Supreme Court as a petitioner on Tuesday asked the court to order a CBI probe into the investments made in the Kochi team.

Modi a convicted drug peddler: Minister’s aide
 In a no-holds-barred attack on IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, Jacob Joseph, Officer on Special Duty for Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, called Modi a “convicted drug peddler” and accused him of working against Kerala’s interests.
Speaking to TV channels, Joseph said on Tuesday: “For your information, Modi is someone who was convicted for possession of 400 grams of cocaine and charged with assault and kidnapping.

“He has even served a two-year sentence and those are the kind of people who we put in charge of cricket in this country.” In an all-out attack, he added: “What is the controversy about the Kochi team? Is there anybody there related to Tharoor? There are a lot of people seen at different public functions with him. Why single out Sunanda Pushkar? He is married to Crista Gilles, she lives in New York.”

He went on to add: “We have not got any communication from the BCCI. They have said our papers are in order. Why isn’t he releasing the ownership of other team members? Why does he not release the holding of Rajasthan Royals?”

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