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The IPL Controversy Rages On
Groups gang up, turn heat on Modi
MS Unnikrishnan
Tribune News Service

The IPL seat is getting hotter for Lalit Modi
The IPL seat is getting hotter for Lalit Modi

New Delhi, April 19
Polarisation of groups within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is building up pressure on Indian Premier League chairman and match commissioner Lalit Kumar Modi to quit or come clean ahead of the IPL Governing Council meeting, scheduled to be held in Mumbai on April 26, after the IPL final.

Though Modi has powerful supporters in Punjab Cricket Association president I.S. Bindra, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur, former BCCI president Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Gujarat Cricket Association president Narendra Modi, Union Civil Aviation president Praful Patel etc, he has also to content with a powerful lobby within the BCCI, consisting of BCCI president Shashank Manohar, secretary N.Srinivasan and IPL vice-president Niranjan Shah, who is a former BCCI secretary.

Delhi and District Cricket Association president Arun Jaitley, BCCI spokesperson and finance committee chairman Rajiv Shukla, Rajasthan Cricket Association president and Union Minister C.P.Joshi also keep the anti-Modi feeling high.

But Manohar is a handpicked candidate of Pawar, and it is unlikely that he would take a strident anti-Modi stance, if Pawar’s word prevails. But indications are that, heat will be mounted on Modi to quit as the IPL boss, or concede his powers to the BCCI group who are vocal against the “authoritarian ways” of Modi in running the show.

With him

  • Punjab Cricket Association president IS Bindra
  • Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur
  • Former BCCI president Sharad Pawar
  • Farooq Abdullah
  • Gujarat Cricket Association president Narendra Modi
  • Union Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel


  • BCCI president Shashank Manohar
  • BCCI secretary N.Srinivasan
  • IPL vice-president Niranjan Shah
  • Delhi and District Cricket Association president Arun Jaitley
  • BCCI spokesperson and finance committee chairman Rajiv Shukla
  • Rajasthan Cricket Association chief and Union Minister CP Joshi

Rajiv Shukla said here today that the BCCI Working Committee meeting, scheduled to be held on April 24, has now been shifted to May 2 as the BCCI wanted to clear the IPL controversy first. The BCCI Working Committee was slated to discuss allegations against Modi, the controversy surrounding the Kochi franchisee and other related matters.

Shukla said there was no point in holding the BCCI Working Committee meeting without clearing the IPL controversy and Modi’s role in many debatable issues concerning the IPL though within the BCCI itself, it is felt that it would be difficult to find a suitable replacement for Modi, if he is forced to cede his powerful position, as the board does not want to scuttle its cash cow IPL.

Shukla said there was no plan to ban the IPL “and it should not be banned either”. He said the IPL Governing Council meeting was sure to come out with a feasible solution to ensure that the IPL show was not impeded, though there shrill voices to curtail the powers of Modi, whose brainchild was the IPL.

The shifting of the two IPL semi-final matches from Bangalore to Mumbai due to bomb scare near the Chinnaswamy stadium has also not gone down well with other IPL staging associations as they feel that why only Mumbai? Why couldn’t the semi-finals have been held in other centres since Mumbai was already slated to host the final? “Even we are not happy with the shifting of matches like this, but players’ security is paramount”, Shukla noted.

Modi’s position has been considerable weakened after Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor tendered his resignation from the Ministry last night, and his friend Sunanda Pushkar surrendered her free equity in the Kochi franchisee Rendezvouz.

Now the ball is in Modi’s court to prove his innocence as it was his tweeter disclosure that put Tharoor on the backfoot, leading to his exit from the Union Ministry. Tharoor’s resignation has also put the Opposition on the defensive, as a thorough probe into the nature of the owners of the IPL and the source of funding, is likely to stop at the buck at Modi’s door.

The government is all set to trace the source of funds, including any possible foreign exchange violation, by the IPL franchisees as the first eight franchisees were auctioned off without much transparency. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has already announced that the billion-dollar funding of the IPL teams would be probed, to unravel the whole truth.

That Modi offered Rs 225 crore to Rendezvous to give up the Kochi franchisee is a damning allegation, which, if proved right, will pin him down, and that’s what one section in the BCCI thinks will signal the end of Modi’s clout though it would be very difficult to totally remove him from the IPL scene, as many powerful guns are learnt to have stakes in various IPL teams.





Team Kochi’s future in doubt
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, April 19
Following the exit of Shashi Tharoor as Minister of State for External Affairs, the future of the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) seems to be in doubt.

Tharoor played a major role in giving political cover to the consortium of businessmen who bagged the Kochi franchise in the face of tough competition from the Adani group, which wanted the Ahmedabad franchise.

According to sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body of the IPL and the executive panel of the board will decide on the future of the Kochi franchise in the next few days.

A probe by the Income Tax department into the sources of funds by the winning bidders would come in handy for the

BCCI to take its final decision on the Kochi franchise, said sources.

The Kochi franchise was bagged by a consortium of investors from Gujarat and Maharashtra with the lone investor from Kerala, Vivek Venugopal, holding just one per cent in the venture. The major stake-owners of the Kochi franchisees are Atul and Mehul Shah of the

Anchor group that owns 27 per cent stake. Vipul and Bhavya Patel of Parinee Developers with 26 per cent and diamond merchant Harshard Mehta with 12 per cent stake follow close behind.

These businessmen opted for the banner of Kochi after businessman Gautam Adani with support from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi made a bid for the Ahmedabad franchise.

With Tharoor out, some kind of arrangement is being worked out for the Kochi franchise owners to shed their stake without having them get into a legal battle, sources added.



Govt earns pittance from IPL
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The Indian Premier League may be the biggest money spinner, with franchisees for each city being auctioned for several thousand crores, but the government is getting only a pittance by way of revenue from it, says the Twelfth Report of the Standing Committee on Finance released today.

The official figures say that “during the current year, the total tax deduction at source till first week of March, 2010 by the BCCI and the IPL franchisees was close to Rs 200 crore for the IPL-3 .”

The ministry has pleaded that “the tournament is still on so the total tax deducted at source on the activities of the IPL can be ascertained only after it ends.”

Earlier it had stated, “Since the income of franchisees of the IPL is yet to be assessed, therefore, the total tax assessed and collected for the last three years cannot be provided.”

Infact, the ministry doesn’t have any record of the revenue generation by the IPL and its franchisees and the money they owe to the government by way of tax under various heads like corporate tax, non-corporate tax and individual tax.

The committee said, “On being asked about the revenue foregone by way of tax exemptions to industry, business, registered bodies, including high-profile bodies like BCCI, IPL, etc., and tax assessed /collected from BCCI/IPL and their franchisees for the last three years, the ministry furnished the following details:

Revenue foregone by way of income-tax exemptions registered bodies, etc. are under the following heads:

Corporate tax payers — Rs 79,554 crore; non-corporate tax payers — Rs 4,743 crore and individual tax payers — Rs 36,186 crore.

This clearly means that the national exchequer lost Rs 1,20483 core by giving tax exemptions to the IPL.



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