Shashi Tharoor has hidden agenda: Modi

Shashi Tharoor has hidden agenda: Modi

A combo picture shows income Tax officials carrying a bag while entering IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi's office (L) at Worli in Mumbai on Thursday. PTI Photo
''They are trying to put dispute into this. But we are here to stay. We have a robust league and we will continue doing a good job irrespective of hidden agendas.

''We will not allow Mr Tharoor to try and shadow this up. Tharoor has a different agenda and it will be shut down, believe me," Modi said.

The Indian Premier League Chairman (IPL) also alleged that Tharoor wants to move the newly-won IPL Kochi franchise to Abu Dhabi but said he will not let that happen.

"This morning, I learnt from a colleague of mine that Mr Tharoor has approached that 'he would like their support to move the team out to Abu Dhabi. I don't know which way they are going. The theme is to play in India, We will not allow any team to play outside India," he told 'Times Now'.

"All these allegations are to digress from giving the truth as to who the shareholders are and that's the key and that's what we are looking for. I will raise it in the next governing council meeting," he said.

Modi also denied accusations that political pressure was put on investors to bid for the Ahmedabad franchise.

"There was no pressure from anybody. They went and met Mr Narendra Modi. He told them very clearly that you won this franchise for Kochi, so keep it to Kochi. They came to ask me to move it. They should have bid for Ahmedabad. They had the opportunity to bid for it."

Modi was also confident that there was no move within the BCCI to clip his wings by appointing President Shashank Manohar as IPL Co-Chairman.

"The constitution provides me to be Chairman right now. There is no co-Chairman position right now. We will deal with it. This is an internal matter of BCCI and IPL."

Modi though admitted that there was a divide in the BCCI on the style of functioning.
"I am sure there will be a divide. We have lived with the divide in the past and we will live with it in future. But we are not going to allow it (IPL) to derail. It's a baby we have built together and we will preserve it and preserve it to the hilt," he said.

'IT officials have gone back satisfied'

Modi said that the Income Tax authorities had sought details relating to two new franchises Kochi and Pune and have gone ''satisfied''.

Debunking reports that he was quizzed by I-T officials for seven hours last evening, Modi told PTI in a telephonic interview "they wanted the name of bidders, the process of bidding and the details of the bids for the two new teams... we have complied with everything and they have gone back satisfied about the entire process."

Income Tax teams had visited IPL offices in BCCI at Wankhade Stadium as also Lalit Modi's offices in Worli, Mumbai, in the face of a controversy relating to the ownership of the Kochi franchisee after a successful bid of Rs 1,533 crore.

On the inquiry part, Modi said, "I was questioned for only 15-20 minutes and they wanted to know formally IPL's position on the bidders and the related issues. We explained it to them. They wanted all the relevant papers and to collect those relevant papers from 2-3 different places, it took some time."

The former BCCI chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had come out openly in support of Modi last evening saying "there in nothing wrong in disclosing the names of the stakeholders (of IPL franchisees) to the public."

His statement came amidst controversy over Modi questioning the ownership of the consortium that won the Kochi franchisee. It was alleged that Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor had a hand in his close friend Sunanda Pushkar getting free equity worth Rs 70 crore in IPL Kochi, a charge vehemently denied by the minister.

Pawar had also defended Tharoor saying his ministerial colleague's "basic interest" was to bring cricket to the centrestage in Kerala and provide opportunities to players from the state.

Asked if I-T officials had sought details about other teams that were bid three years ago, Modi said "they had asked few questions on it and after they were told that information is in public domain, they did not seek further details." 

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