New Delhi: BCCI President Shashank Manohar on Saturday came out with a fresh set of allegations against Lalit Modi, accusing that the suspended IPL Commissioner of making misleading allegations that interim IPL Chairman Chirayu Amin was part of a failed bid for the Pune franchise.
Blasting Modi, Manohar said it was in fact the suspended IPL Commissioner who had advised a Pune consortium to rope in Amin as an investor and the interim IPL chief agreed to invest only after the bid succeeded and he had sought the Board’s permission.
Manohar also claimed that contrary to Modi’s assertions, the IPL Governing Council did not know that City Corporation’s Managing Director Aniruddha Deshpande bid for the Pune team in his “individual capacity”.
“The truth is that it was Mr Modi himself who sent a message to the Pune Franchisees through Mr Ajay Shirke, President, MCA (Maharshtra Cricket Association), asking them to contact Mr Amin and ask him to be a part of the consortium,” he revealed.
Manohar said when the bidders approached Amin to join their consortium, the interim IPL chief agreed to make an investment of upto 10 per cent only if the bid was won and he got BCCI’s permission.
“Mr Amin had then given me a letter with a copy to the Hony Secretary (N Srinivasan), informing that he has been approached by the Pune franchisee.
“In his letter he clearly states that should City Corporation Ltd win the bid, he would then formally approach the Board for a sanction to invest in the consortium. The letter itself makes it very clear that it was a proposal with a pre-condition attached that Mr Amin would seek a formal sanction only in case the bid succeeds,” Manohar said.
Manohar accused Modi of trying to tarnish Amin and the Board’s image.
“Mr Modi, since yesterday is trying to malign the image of the Board and M. Chirayu Amin by making statements which are far from the truth,” Manohar said.
“It is thus clear that the claim of Mr Modi that Mr Amin was a bidder is misleading and is only to malign the image of the Board and it Members.
“I did not react earlier when he made allegations against me and the Hony. Secretary (N Srinivasan) as I did not wish to dignify his ridiculous allegations with a repartee. Today, I am replying, because he is trying to tarnish the image of the Board and its members,” he added.
The Pune bid, which was ultimately won by the Sahara group, has snowballed into a major controversy involving former BCCI chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his Parliamentarian daughter Supriya Sule.
The Pawar family has 16 per cent equity in City Corporation but they claim that Deshpande bid for the Pune team on his own and the company’s Board was against the move even though it allowed him to use the company’s name on bid documents.
But Manohar said had the IPL Governing Council known that Deshpande was bidding in his individual capacity, the bid would have been outrightly rejected.
“Mr Modi has made a statement that Mr Deshpande had informed him that though the bid was submitted on behalf of City Corporation Ltd, it was in fact a personal bid on behalf of himself.
“Mr Modi, who claims to be above board in all matters, did not think this very cogent and important piece of information should be shared with Governing Council Members/Officials,” Manohar said.
“His statement becomes even more questionable in the light of the fact that the bid document tendered on behalf of City Corporation Ltd gives information only regarding City Corporation Ltd and does not give any personal information about Mr Deshpande.
“The bid could have been rejected at the threshold if it had been from Mr Deshpande in his individual capacity as it did not carry the necessary information about the bidder, i.e. Mr Deshpande,” he added.
Manohar said it is Modi who has created the crisis in which the Board finds itself.
“Mr Modi, who is himself in the dock, is trying to tarnish the image of the Board by making false and misleading statements time and again when as a fact the Board has landed in this embarrassing situation due to his own misdeeds,” he said.
“The reason for me releasing this statement is that the BCCI is an Institution which is the best run Sports Body in the country and the image of BCCI cannot be allowed to be tarnished by people like Mr Lalit Modi,” Manohar said.