Ahmedabad: Even as the Kochi IPL controversy stalled the proceedings of Parliament, Income Tax (I-T) department on Thursday conducted massive raids on the offices of three prominent businessmen from the Rendezvous group, who have invested in IPL Kochi franchisee.
Top I-T sleuths raided the Ahmedabad offices of Vipul Shah, owner of Parni Developers and the Bhavnagar offices of two other investors.
The raids were conducted after a clash between MoS Shashi Tharoor and IPL commissioner Lalit Modi snowballed into a major political controversy, with the sources of funds coming into question.
The raids have fueled speculations of a political conspiracy in attempts to scrap the IPL Kochi franchisee. Kochi franchisee spokesperson Satyajit Gaikwad alleged the Gujarat Chief Minister Nareddra Modi and IPL Chairman Lalit Modi are plotting against the Kochi IPL team.
Talking to the reporters Gaikwad said, “Narendra Modi and Lalit Modi want to shift the Kochi team to Ahmedabad. There is a larger political conspiracy behind all that are happening.”
He also demanded that Lalit Modi should reveal all the names of the shareholders and stakeholders involved in every IPL franchisee. “Modi should disclose the names of stakeholders in all the IPL franchisees,” said a visibly angry Gaikwad.
Meanwhile, former president of Gujarat Cricket Association Narhari Amin alleged that chief minister Narendra Modi is responsible behind the whole IPL Kochi controversy. He also held the chief minister responsible for not having a Gujarat team in IPL.
At the other end, however, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee categorically denied having any interest in probing the accounts of IPL franchisees. Talking to the reporters outside the Parliament, Mukherjee said, “It’s not the headache of Finance Ministry.”
He was speaking after Tharoor met him and AK Antony before the Parliament's Budget session re-started.
In the evening, Tharoor got an audience with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and explained to her his point of view. The meeting kasted for 20 minutes, sources revealed.
The Enforcement Department in the meanwhile, is looking into the funding of IPL team Rajasthan Royals and other teams might be under the scanner soon.
First Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 17:45