New Delhi: As demands for N Srinivasan's resignation as BCCI President continued, three important members of the cricket board on Monday parried questions on the issue even as the beleaguered chief complained that the media was hounding him.
BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad made an oblique criticism of IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla and his party leader Arun Jaitley, both important office-bearers of BCCI, as to why they were not raising their voice against Srinivasan's continuance.
"Where are those keepers of high moral values in both UPA and NDA...why are they not raising voice on the removal of Srinivasan over IPL scandal?" the BJP MP asked. "These people who raise voice in Parliament on any political issue are not speaking in public over the spot fixing in IPL and removal of BCCI chief over the dirty episode," he told PTI.
"The people who raised pitch of their voice to seek resignation of former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yedurappa or NDA leaders who pressurised PK Bansal and Ashwani Kumar to quit Manmohan Singh cabinet are silent over such a sensitive issue," the Lok Sabha member from Darbhanga said.
When confronted by newsmen at the Congress office, IPL Chairman Shukla declined to comment on the raging issue. "This is not the occasion to talk about it. Serious incident has taken place in Chhattisgarh, I am going for the prayer meeting", Shukla said.
BCCI Joint Secretary Anurag Thakur also parried questions on the issue. Board vice-President and a member of the Disciplinary Committee Arun Jaitley promised "tough action" against anyone found guilty of involvement in the spot-fixing scandal that shook the IPL.
Jaitley, who is also a member of IPL Governing Council, said a free and fair investigation would be conducted within a stipulated deadline. "The Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of BCCI is looking into all these matters," was Jaitley's reaction when asked about the spot-fixing scandal.
"The Supreme Court has given it (BCCI) a 15-day time limit. It will give its report which will come up before the Disciplinary Committee. Be rest assured we are going to take tough action (against anyone found guilty)," he said.
In Thiruvananthapuram, BJP National General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said spot-fixing in IPL was an issue of corruption and what has happened over the past few days was very unfortunate. "It is an issue of corruption and betrayal. It is good that government is contemplating a law to deal with betting and fixing', he said.
However, he wondered whether the IPL corruption was overshadowing national corruption such as Coalgate and the 2-G scam. "It is a matter of concern that individual corruption is getting more prominence than the corruptions and scams that took place at the government level", he said.
Asked if Srinivasan should have resigned over the spot-fixing scandal, Rudy said it depended the probity of individual to take a decision on such matter.
A defiant Srinivasan, who has decided to hang on to his position despite the IPL spot-fixing scandal, said his resignation is being sought only by a "hounding media".
Srinivasan, whose son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings CEO Gurunath Meiyappan has been arrested for alleged involvement in betting, reached Chennai after attending the IPL final last night in Kolkata, where the crowd booed him during the presentation ceremony.
"The press is hounding me, the media is hounding me. I have already clarified everything in the press conference. I have no reason to resign," Srinivasan retorted when journalists at the airport asked him about the scandal and whether he should resign on moral grounds.