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Why was Modi given chopper, Congress asks Himachal govt

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 23:22

Shimla: The opposition Congress in Himachal Pradesh Tuesday accused the state government of extending special hospitality to Lalit Modi and asked why it had provided the IPL chairman a chopper from Dharamsala to New Delhi after a cricket match last week.

"The state government had provided its helicopter for transporting Lalit Modi and his family from Dharamsala to Delhi after the cricket match on April 16," state Congress chief Kaul Singh Thakur told reporters here.

He questioned the government`s decision to extend special hospitality to Modi and other Indian Premier League (IPL) officials.

"It`s difficult to understand why the government has favoured the IPL, which is functioning on corporate lines," he said.

"The manner in which the government has given a free hand to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) in organising the matches shows some nexus between the IPL and the HPCA," he said.

"Due to the nexus, the government has extended hospitality to many officials of the IPL, who were declared state guests. The government should release the list of such state guests," he said.

HPCA chief Anurag Thakur, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Hamirpur and the son of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, also came under fire for extending special hospitality to IPL officials.

"We are asking the government why it has allocated Rs.3 crore for developing Dharamsala town before the IPL matches," he said.

"If the government says that the amount was released for facelift of Dharamsala, then we demand a white paper from the government about the heads on which the public money was spent," he added.

Around 20,000 spectators witnessed the IPL matches April 16 and 18 at the picturesque HPCA stadium in Dharamsala, one of the highest cricket grounds in the world at 4,000 feet.

The stadium in Himachal Pradesh is being counted as the second home ground for the Kings XI Punjab team, which originally belongs to Mohali near Chandigarh.


First Published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 23:22

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