Lok Sabha Oppn takes apart IPL

Lok Sabha Oppn takes apart IPL

A different ball game: Parties seek House panel probe into money laundering

Lok Sabha Oppn takes apart IPL

In this February 20, 2008, file photo Bollywood actor Preity Zinta with IPL chairman Lalit Modi speak to journalists during the auction of cricket players. AP

The opposition BJP, Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Left parties echoed each other to slam the IPL as a caricature of cricket, vulgar display of illegally accumulated wealth and a means of laundering black money.
Their demands ranged from banning the IPL to nationalising it.

The parties also sought a thorough probe,  preferably by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), into the alleged wrongdoings involved in the T20 cricket tournament.
As soon as the House met on Monday, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav were up on their feet, trying to drive home the point that Shashi Tharoor’s resignation as the Minister of State for External Affairs on Sunday had not put the lid on the Kochi IPL row.

Even as Speaker Meira Kumar asked them to allow her to conduct the proceedings of the Question Hour, Sharad Yadav said: “The IPL is the main issue and not Tharoor.”
Later, speaking in the Zero Hour, Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI alleged that the IPL was being used for laundering black money and  “aberrations’ were taking place “under the nose of the Ministry of Finance”.

He also termed the T20 format of the IPL as a caricature of cricket and said the players were sold like vegetables. “Open betting is taking place. It is not cricket, but an organised gamble,” he added.

The communist leader cited reports that large amounts of money for the IPL was coming from Mauritius and “dubious sources” in Dubai.
He alleged that the IPL was being used as a means to legalise the black money stashed in Swiss banks.  

Supporting him, Lalu Prasad alleged that people involved with organising the T20 cricket tournament was amassing wealth illegally. He said the government should take over the IPL.

Mulayam Singh Yadav alleged that the IPL was promoting a foreign game in India and said the government should try to boost the national sports instead.
Sharad Yadav said the IPL was a vulgar display of black money and that it should be banned.

The BJP too joined the chorus and the party’s senior leader Gopinath Munde said the government should immediately step in to stop misuse of the IPL for laundering black money.