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Sack Tharoor over IPL row: BJP tells PM

BJP wants a CBI probe into the alleged misuse of authority by Shashi Tharoor to secure investment in Kochi team.

News18test sharma |

Updated:April 13, 2010, 5:43 PM IST
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Sack Tharoor over IPL row: BJP tells PM
BJP wants a CBI probe into the alleged misuse of authority by Shashi Tharoor to secure investment in Kochi team.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sack Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor from the Union Ministry in the wake of controversy over Indian Premier League (IPL) Kochi team ownership.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad asked for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into alleged "misuse" of authority by Tharoor to "secure" investment made by his friend Sunanda Pushkar in the IPL Kochi team.

"I am talking of CPL - corruption premier league. What BCCI does, we are not concerned. But we are concerned with the conduct of minister, a man who remains permanently in controversies and now in the quicksand of corruption. This is a serious issue," Prasad said in New Delhi.

"This Rendezvous Sports World has 25 per cent equity, out of this 17 per cent equity is with Sunanda. We cannot be oblivious to the fact that Sunanda is Tharoor's friend. This is in public domain. We are not saying you (Tharoor) have invested, actually your friend has been the beneficiary of a huge bounty. There is blatant misuse of authority by a Minister in Government who is also a public servant. If a minister charges directly or indirectly for patronage and protection, then it becomes a copybook case of corruption," said Prasad.

Rendezvous Sports World won the auction for Kochi franchise after bidding nearly Rs 1,533 crore.

Tharoor and IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi have been involved in a bitter war of words over the ownership of the new Kochi team. Tharoor issued an official statement to counter the allegations made by Modi over the ownership of the team.

While Tharoor admitted that Kochi stakeholder Sunanda Pushkar, the lady whom he is reportedly planning to marry, was his close friend, he said "various attempts were made by Modi and others to pressure the consortium members to abandon their bid in favour of another city in a different state".

Tharoor's key aide Jacob Joseph even called Modi a "convicted drug peddler".

Joseph made the allegation after Modi disclosed the names of the free equity holders in the little known Rendezvous Sports World.

Miffed by the disclosure, Rendezvous Sports World threatened to send a legal notice to Modi and accused the IPL Commissioner of breaking the confidentiality terms. The Kochi franchise has also complained to BCCI President Shashank Manohar about Modi's indiscretion.

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