No question of resigning, says Tharoor

No question of resigning, says Tharoor

 On a sticky wicket: Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor with Sunanda Pushkar during a friendly cricket match between the External Affairs Ministry and FICCI in New Delhi recently. PTIMinister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday ruled out resigning from the government even as the Kochi IPL team he is supporting claimed that League commissioner Lalit Modi offered them $50 million to sell the team.

“One week after the bid was declared in favour of the Kochi team, an investor from Rendezvous Sailendra was called up by Modi and told that you would be given $ 50 million if you just quit the game and get out,” said Kochi team spokesperson Satyajit Gaikwad.

 It was then the investors thought that since they had won the bid after working hard for the last six-seven months, they would not agree to this, he said.
“This was the reason for  some delaying tactics taking place and confusion created by Modi that we don’t know who the owner is... In that case, if it was so, why would we have won the bid? That’s the million dollar question that Modi needs to answer,”
He claimed that Sunanda Pushkar, known to be close to Tharoor, has four per cent share in the company which he described as sweat equity and not free equity. “Let me tell you. Sunanda Pushkar is a professional who is going to look after the marketing, brand building, franchising of the company and she has decided to come on the board as a professional. And we could not have done that before we could get the IPL bid.  And, as a professional, instead of paying her professional charges, we guaranteed her a sweat equity which could be exchanged against the professional charges,” he said.
He added that the Kochi team was not planning to take legal action against Modi for offering money to quit the IPL.

Pranab summons Tharoor
Speculation was rife over continuation of controversial minister Shashi Tharoor in the Union government as senior minister Pranab Mukherjee summoned him late on Wednesday night.
Tharoor was asked to give details of his role in the IPL Kochi team and the controversy surrounding the ownership structure of the team. Defence minister A K Antony was present when Tharoor was asked to present his case.

PTI adds from Mumbai
Franchisees’ funds under I-T probe

Mumbai: The Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate are reported to have begun a discreet inquiry into the source of funds of certain franchisees of the cash-rich T20 Indian Premiere League (IPL).
Official sources said on Wednesday the “source probe” commenced after a controversy broke out this week over the share holding patterns of the  consortium led by Rendezvous which bagged IPL Kochi franchise. The controversy has triggered a spat between IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.
Sources said the probe has been initiated to find out if there is any illegal flow of funds or whether any black money is being pumped into the sporting extravaganza including from foreign shores.
However, sources maintained that the ‘source probe’ is just an enquiry and may or may not end up in filing of a case.
The probe is only to determine the source of funds though there is no specific input that fuelled suspicions, the sources said.
Since amounts in thousands of crores are involved, there is a need to cross check the funding routes, the sources added.
The probe move came even as the CPM  said the government should inquire into the source of certain funds flowing into the tournament and reconsider whether any tax exemptions or concessions are justified for this commercial enterprise.
Meanwhile, the government is expected to rake in more than Rs 200 crore as taxes from the third edition of the ongoing IPL T20 cricket tournament.
As per the estimate calculated by the field formations of the Revenue department, the IPL will fetch about Rs 100 crore each under the direct (income tax) and indirect (service tax) categories.
PTI

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