Today, when I was browsing through some news Indian news channels, I could find that IPL matches have taken backstage and it is the conflict of Shashi Tharoor vs Lalit Modi that is now the main attraction for the media. It was a tough day for both of these two persons.
Shashi Tharoor found it almost impossible to tell his own side of the story in the Parliament. The opposition members made a lot of noise and he could hardly speak. So, he said his story outside of the parliament to the journalists. He basically said that he never did anything wrong in his career and even here in this IPL issue, he did nothing illegal. He just tried to promote his own state of Kerala and he is a Member of Parliament from there. As a MP, it is his duty to promote his own state and own people.
"My role in mentoring the Kerala consortium was throughout within the bounds of appropriate conduct of a member of Parliament. As a minister, I was in no position to influence the bid process, let alone its outcome."
Rendezvous has clarified that it issued ‘sweat equity’ to its associates in lieu of a salary, which is a common practice around the world for start-up ventures. The notion that somebody is some sort of ‘proxy’ for me is frankly insulting to me,” said Mr. Tharoor.
Lalit Modi also had a difficult day. Last night, Tax officials raided office of IPL and they talked to Lalit Modi for a long time. There has been no formal complaint or charge against either Modi or BCCI but things look some grim for IPL at the moment. Lalit Modi looked very tired and there is some doubt about his future as the head of IPL. There is every possibility that in the next few days, his power as IPL head will be curtailed.
He had spent hours, by his own admission, with income tax officials who wanted information about bids for the Indian Premier League franchises. Still, Modi is nothing if not a fighter, and he used the media moment to say that pesky, persistent whisper notwithstanding, he's going nowhere. "I am still IPL commissioner," he said, underlining that he would "not be sidelined."
But his colleagues at the Board of Control for Cricket for India (BCCI), many of whom have been waiting to edge him out for years, say this could be the beginning of the end for Lalit Kumar Modi. Even as the scheming begins, though, there is a note of wistfulness. Modi's toughest opponents know this is a man with refined skills in not necessarily playing by the rules. And so far, that has served him well.
In the battle between Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi, Modi has one advantage. All the opposition parties are now demanding the resignation or sacking of Mr. Tharoor. On the other hand, some BCCI power heads like Sharad Pawar.
It is still not clear who would win in this conflict but it has already turned out to be a bitter conflict. Until now, Lalit Modi was like a King in Indian cricket. His authority has been perhaps challenged seriously for the first time.