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Lalit Modi defends Pawar on stake in IPL

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: Suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Friday came out in defence of ICC’s President in waiting and Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar, claiming all the reports regarding the latter’s stake holding in the IPL as untrue.

Managing Director of the Pune – based City Corporation – in which Pawar and his family have 16 per cent shares – Aniruddha Deshpande made an unsuccessful bid for the Pune franchise and Modi joined the minister in claiming that Deshpande made the bid in his individual capacity.

“Facts are he (Pawar) directly or indirectly was never part of any bidding process,” Modi said.

“Aniruddha, who was the key promoter of the Pune-based City Corporation consortium, bid only for qualification purpose as an individual at that point of time. He has qualified for the documents putting together the company he was bidding for.

“He got new investors and the list of investors that are going to be investing in it which include him and the other people,” said Modi, who remains suspended on charges of financial irregularities and bid-rigging, among others.

“Mr Pawar and family has nothing to do with the bidding documents and with the bid that was made by Mr Deshpande. He lost it anyway,” Modi told an Indian news channel.

Sahara eventually won the bid for the Pune franchise, coughing up a staggering Rs 1702 crore.

“I think what is happening is media getting chaotic or somebody is leaking out the information. There was no truth (in what has come out). Somebody is leaking the information in public domain, which is very unfortunate. There is no truth to it,” said Modi.

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