Fight till the end, Modi Sr tells Lalit

Papa kehte hain

“I SMSed him not to resign. I told him you are facing problems but the whole family is behind you and you will overcome it,” Modi, 73, said on Tuesday, adding, that resigning would have meant admission of wrongdoings.

It was this SMS that perhaps fortified Lalit Modi in the face of his suspension as the IPL commissioner by the IPL Governing Council (GC) on Sunday night, and his refusal to resign from the post. But Modi Sr now wants his flamboyant son to concentrate more on family business.

“If Lalit wants to create a franchise for the Modi group, I am willing to give him more money than the BCCI gave him to start the IPL... If he (Lalit) can create (a venture) half as successful as IPL, every member of the Modi family will benefit,” he said.
Regarding charges against his son, Modi said: “He (Lalit) has a 100 per cent strong case to defend himself. Such problems are not unexpected. If you are running a public game like the IPL, people are going to ask questions.”

When asked whether Lalit is being singled out by the IPL GC, his father said “Of course. There are decisions which need ratification. He will come out clean.”

On accusations of kickbacks, money-laundering and family members as stakeholders in IPL teams, Modi Sr shot back saying: “We knew that from before. He needed money to be invested and so what if family members came forward?”

The industrialist attributed the problems faced by his son to his flamboyant lifestyle. Lalit had paid an advance tax of Rs 11 crore during the year 2009-10, compared to just a few lakhs in the previous year. “I think most of the allegations are arising for his lifestyle. His lifestyle is not dependent upon IPL,” Modi Sr said. He, however, felt that Lalit had learnt a lot through the IPL.

“Previously all that we have benefited from him was the fame from IPL, but now I hope we will be able to benefit from his (Lalit’s) new business expertise,” Modi said in an obvious indication that Lalit’s involvement in the family business was not strong.

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