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‘Told IPL that Pune bid was in individual capacity’

New Delhi: City Corporation MD Aniruddh Deshpande on Sunday denied keeping the IPL in dark about bidding in "individual capacity" for the Pune franchise but conceded that the company`s name was used in the bid documents he submitted.

City Corporation, in which Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar`s family has 16 per cent equity, had denied being part of the bid but BCCI President Shashank Manohar yesterday refuted their claim, saying the failed bid came in the company`s name.

Deshpande said he had told the IPL that he would float a new company after winning the bid, which was eventually clinched by the Sahara Group.

"All the documents were in the company`s name and a letter to that effect was also submitted to the IPL Governing Council on March 21 before the bid. I told them that the stakeholders will change if we are successful bidders," Deshpande said.

"Since we were not successful bidders, nothing further had to be done," he told a news channel.

City Corporation is in the dock after reports emerged that it had authorised Deshpande to bid on its behalf despite claims to the contrary by Pawar and his Parliamentarian daughter Supriya Sule.

Deshpande admitted that the company`s Board did decide to bid after a January meeting but later backed out and passed a fresh resolution on March 17 allowing Deshpande to go ahead in his "individual capacity".

Asked if the later resolution had been fabricated to save the company and Pawar further embarrassment, Deshpande said, "Why would we do it?"

"If it was to be done in the company`s name, it would have been done in the company`s name. How can I fabricate a March 17 letter that I gave on March 21 to the IPL Governing Council in front of all the bidders?" he asked.

Manohar has said that had the IPL Governing Council known that Deshpande bid in individual capacity, the bid would have been outrightly rejected.

But Deshpande said he hid nothing from the IPL authorities and even got an extended 10-days` time to arrange for bank guarantees.

"I gave two letters to the IPL Governing Council. The council and all the other bidders were present when I told them that I can`t give a bank guarantee in the requisite 48 hours so the deadline should be extended to 10 days for all the bidders.”

"The council then said it would allow everybody 10 days as 48 hours was just not possible," he recalled.

Deshpande said he gave the letter explaining the company and his stand to now suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.

"I told him, if we are successful, we would form a different consortium and once the (City Corporation) Board told me that I could bid in individual capacity but could use the company`s name, I started going to different people to buy stake.”

"I told the IPL that I will float a different company if I won the bid. But the time was so less ... after March 17, there were only 4-5 days left for the bid and I had only one choice and that was to use the company`s name," he explained.

PTI

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