Murky deals have UPA govt in a fix

Murky deals have UPA govt in a fix

IPL affairs: Opposition seeks JPC probe

Murky deals have UPA govt in a fix

 Cricketer Anil Kumble with wife Chethana arrive for the IPL Awards Night in Mumbai on Friday, which was boycotted by senior functionaries of the BCCI. PTIThe Opposition on Friday demanded a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into murky backroom deals of IPL.

The Opposition stalled parliamentary proceedings and forced the Centre to consider a JPC investigation into the irregularities involving the IPL.

The government appeared to have been pushed to a corner as reports emerged that Patel’s daughter used her influence to pull out a scheduled Air India plane for use as a chartered flight. Air India has denied Patel’s daughter Poorna exercised influence, clarifying that it was India Cements, owners of Chennai Super Kings team, which had hired the flight.

There are additional reports that one other AI aircraft was used as a chartered flight.
The evolving crisis for the government was reflected in the Congress’ leadership summoning a meeting of the core committee which decided that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would take a decision on the Opposition’s shrill demand for a JPC probe.

At the core committee meeting, held in Parliament House, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee briefed the leaders over the Opposition demand in the two Houses. The Congress top brass discussed the pros and cons of agreeing for a parliamentary enquiry.
Finally, party president Sonia Gandhi said Singh would take a final call on the issue.
All other members of the party's top decision making body,  Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister A K Antony and Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, were present at the meeting.

As the roles of Praful Patel and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar further came under the scanner, the former BCCI president brushed aside allegations saying he was not worried as neither he nor his family members had anything to do with it.

 Actress Shilpa Shetty with husband Raj Kundra arrive for the IPL Awards Night in Mumbai on Friday, which was boycotted by senior functionaries of the BCCI. PTIAsked about the demand for a JPC probe, Pawar shot back: “Why should we worry? We have nothing to do”.  Pawar is facing the heat as his son-in-law Sadanand Sule’s name has surfaced in the bidding process.

In Mumbai, a beleaguered IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, who is the epicentre of the raging controversy, showed signs of softening his attitude towards the BCCI as he sought five days to answer its questions.

On Thursday, Modi had threatened to move court against convening of the IPL governing council (GC) by the BCCI in Mumbai on Monday.

He decided against taking recourse to legal action on Friday. Virtually isolated, the IPL Commissioner pleaded with the BCCI, saying “I have worked for you for five years... Give me just five days to prepare answers to all the questions.”

 Governing council member Rajiv Shukla said on Friday that “wisdom should prevail upon him (Modi). The governing council of the BCCI will meet on Monday. Focus will now shift to Mumbai.

“What deserves more media-attention is what Rajasthan Chief Minister is doing (in the probe against Modi and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje),” he said.

Search operations

Income Tax authorities served notice on the Kolkata Knight Riders Sports Private Limited and Gameplan Sports to appear before them in the wake of massive search operations in their offices on Thursday. 

Confirming the developments here, director general of Income Tax Investigation wing (East) Vinod Khurana said that both Knight Rider Sports and Gameplan have sought time till Monday next for appearing before the I-T officials.

Officials of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had told the I-T sleuths during Thursday’s raids that they had received KKR’s payments through Yes Bank.

I-T officials have now turned their attention to two cheques issued by KKR to CAB, allegedly drawn on a bank in Mauritius.

As for the match-fixing angle, Income Tax reports are said to have named a Delhi socialite as a front for Modi whose phone records allegedly showed conversations with bookies. However, Income Tax authorities denied the existence of such reports.

Former BCCI president A C Muthiah has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging rules which permit BCCI and IPL administrators to own teams.

Muthiah contented that N Srinivasan, who is also IPL secretary, is the owner of Chennai Super Kings and so there is a conflict of interest. Muthiah’s move is seen as a support for Modi.