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Modi, Amit Shah influenced Lalit Modi to favour Adani group during IPL auction: Congress

Deepak Sharma | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:37 IST

After Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje, the Congress party is now gunning for PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the Lalitgate issue.

The party has alleged that the duo influenced the IPL bidding process to facilitate acquisition of the Ahmedabad IPL franchise by Gautam Adani.

At a press conference today, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal cited several documents to support the allegations.

According to the Congress, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah mediated a meeting between Lalit Modi and Gautam Adani to discuss the bidding for two IPL franchises at Ahmedabad's Motera stadium in February 2010.

The Invitation To tender (ITT) for the bidding process, approved by BCCI's governing council in December 2009, was published a few days after the meeting.

The then IPL commissioner Lalit Modi imposed the condition that the bidding company must have total assets of more than $1 billion. The ITT also said the company must deposit an upfront bank guarantee of Rs 460 crore for bidding.

The conditions were included in the tender notification to favour the Adani group, the Congress alleges. Curiously, the board's governing council had not approved these conditions at a meeting held on December 17, 2009.

As a result, only two bids - Adani Group/Videocon - were submitted. The governing council cancelled the bidding process after receiving complaints regarding these conditions and indicted Lalit Modi at a meeting held on 7 March 2010.

According to Sibal, Lalit Modi called Amit Shah on his cell phone twice during this meeting.

Tenders for the bidding process were invited again on 21 March 2010. Subsequently, Sahara group bought the Pune team for $370 million. A consortium called Rendezvous Sports won the bid for the Kochi team at a price of $333.33 million. Adani group/Videocon lost both these bids.

Lalit Modi was removed from his post in April 2010 and a two-member committee was formed to probe his affairs. Arun Jaitley was chairman of this committee.

The report submitted by the committee clearly stated that Lalit Modi unduly favoured Adani group and Videocon.

"Why didn't Jaitley, who headed the committee, lodge an FIR in the matter," questions a press release issued by the Congress.

The party has also asked why Jaitley did not investigate the financial quid pro quo, if any, in this matter.

The press release also states that the Adani group was made the 'commercial partner' of Gujarat Cricket Association soon after Modi was elected as president and Shah as the vice-president of the association on 15 September 2009.

"The Vice-President of Rajasthan Royals, Shantanu Chari, wrote a letter to Lalit Modi the very next day asking him to develop relations with Narendra Modi," claims the press release.

Lalit Modi apparently replied through an email stating that "he will do your work, he is very close to me."

"Rajasthan Royals chose the Motera ground as its home ground and organised 4 out of its 7 matches at the same venue," says the press release.

Party leader Kapil Sibal has demanded that the Prime Minister breaks his silence regarding the issue.

First published: 10 August 2015, 8:35 IST
Deepak Sharma @catch_deepak

Is a Delhi-based journalist whose heart still resides in his native mountains of Himachal. After almost a decade-long career in television news, he's made the switch to digital. When not working, he likes to venture into the world of theatre, music and literature. Obscure places are where he meets his element.