BCCI president gives clean chit to Amin
Shashank Manohar, the BCCI President, has lashed out at Lalit Modi over his allegation that Chirayu Amin, the interim IPL chairman and Modi's replacement following his suspension, had bid for the Pune franchise
Shashank Manohar, the BCCI President, has challenged Lalit Modi's contention that Chirayu Amin, the interim IPL chairman, was part of a consortium that bid unsuccessfully for the Pune franchise. While clarifying that Amin's intention had been to only invest in City Corporation Ltd - the concerned group - in the event of a successful bid, Manohar alleged it was Modi who urged the franchise to contact Amin to become a part of that consortium.
Manohar, who has issued such a statement for the first time as board president, also rubbished allegations made against him by Modi, who had claimed Manohar had influenced the bidding process. Modi had also asked for the suspension of board secretary N Srinivasan on charges of conflict of interest. Since Manohar and Srinivasan were both subjects of his allegations, Modi had called on them to recuse themselves from the board's investigation process into the charges of financial impropriety pressed against him.
"Mr Modi, since yesterday is trying to malign the image of the Board and Mr. Chirayu Amin by making statements which are far from the truth," Manohar said in his release. "I did not react earlier when he made allegations against me and the Hony. Secretary as I did not wish to dignify his ridiculous allegations with a repartee. Today I am replying, because he is trying to tarnish the image of the Board and its members.
"It is alleged by Mr Modi, that Mr Amin had given a bid along with the Pune Franchisee - City Corporation Ltd. He has further alleged that I did not inform him about the letter from Mr. Amin seeking permission to bid and that the said communication was suppressed from him and the Governing Council Members.
"The truth is that it was Mr Modi himself who sent a message to the Pune Franchisees through Mr Ajay Shirke, President, MCA, asking them to contact Mr. Amin and ask him to be a part of the Consortium."
Manohar added Amin had informed him about the approach made by the Pune franchise and that he would formally seek permission from the BCCI to invest in the consortium in the event of a successful bid. Amin's case could have been considered by the board, Manohar said, only if he had "put forward a concrete proposal to invest."
"First and foremost, Mr Amin's letter was not for asking permission to bid. Secondly, he was not a bidder with City Corporation Ltd and this even Mr Modi has agreed in his interview to Times Now [a news channel]," Manohar said. "It is thus clear that the claim of Mr Modi that Mr Amin was a bidder is misleading and is only to malign the image of the Board and it Members."
The consortium was headed by Aniruddha Deshpande, managing director of City Corporation. While the bid document was submitted in City Corporation's name, Deshpande said the company had allowed him to use the name only for the purpose of bidding. Manohar said that while Modi was aware of this, he did not share the information with the governing council, which could have rejected the bid for lack of information.
"Mr Modi has also made a statement that Mr Aniruddha Deshpande, MD City Corporation Ltd, had informed him that though the bid was submitted on behalf of City Corporation Ltd, it was in fact a personal bid on behalf of himself. Mr Modi, who claims to be above board in all matters, did not think this very cogent and important piece of information should be shared with Governing Council Members/Officials," Manohar said. "His statement becomes even more questionable in the light of the fact that the bid document tendered on behalf of City Corporation Ltd gives information only regarding City Corporation Ltd and does not give any personal information about Mr Aniruddha Deshpande. The bid could have been rejected at the threshold if it had been from Mr Aniruddha Deshpande ,in his individual capacity, as it did not carry the necessary information about the bidder, ie. Mr Deshpande."