New Delhi: IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has been pulled up by BCCI President Shashank Manohar for tweeting the details of the shareholders in the newly purchased Kochi franchise.
Modi revealed on Twitter that the free equity holders include Kisan Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulati, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal.
Miffed over Modi's tweet, the Kochi team owners sent a legal notice to Modi on why he disclosed names of the partners in his tweets. One of the partners, Sunanda Pushkar is said to be a close associate of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.
The franchise is alleging that Modi was violating the Confidentiality Clause that prevents both parties from making any information about stakeholders public unless required by law.
Modi, however, told CNN-IBN that there was nothing wrong about his tweets.
"All team owners of the IPL have been revealed in the past. I don't think there is anything to hide in it. We're a public body. I don't know who is related to whom. I don't know why they are singling out one person. The franchisees have been given already, and that's the end of that. Who the shareholders are that will be done over time. I can't tell what the arrangements are. I can only say what the shareholding is. That's an internal matter - I don't want to reveal what we discussed at the board level.
The little known Rendezvous Sports World coughed up $333.33 million (Rs 1533 crore) to buy the Kochi franchise at the recent IPL team auctions, which also saw the Pune franchise being bought by Sahara.
"A lot of you asking (about) shareholders and events surrounding the Kochi team. I am compiling a note shortly and will put an official release soon," Modi wrote.
Modi hinted there was pressure on him not to reveal the details of who all owns Rendezvous.
"I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?" said Modi, a disclosure which could land Tharoor in a fresh controversy.
Modi then revealed the details in a later post.
"Kochi shareholders are: Rendezvous 25 per cent free, Rendezvous one per cent, Anchor 27 per cent, Parinee 26 per cent, Film Waves combine 12 per cent, Anand Shyam 8 per cent, Vivek Venugopal one per cent," Modi wrote.
Interestingly, Tharoor had played an instrumental role in galvanising the Kochi consortium, insisting all along that he had no financial stake in it.
"All I did on my part was to offer encouragement, blessings and expert advise when required to the bidders. Beyond that, I had no role to play. It's a group of business people and I understand it's a business decision," Tharoor had said.
"I am not even sure whether I know all of them, nor do I have any knowledge of the decision that how much they were going to bid. I know this Rendezvous Sports World and had met the Gaekwad brothers.
"I have given them all kind of encouragement but my role was limited. It was like...what shall I say...mentor sounds too grand a word," Tharoor had said.
Modi himself had earlier described Tharoor's role as that of a facilitator only.
"Mr Tharoor was involved in facilitating and trying to get a team from Kochi to bid. He is an ardent fan of the game who wanted a team from Kochi and his role ends there," Modi had said.
(With Agency inputs)
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