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BCCI snubs Lalit Modi, keeps him out of crucial meet

New Delhi: IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi’s powers are set to be curtailed considerably as the move to clip his wings gained momentum at an informal BCCI meeting in Dharamshala where the Board’s top brass discussed the Kochi franchise ownership row.

After Modi’s public spat with Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on the matter turned into a political storm and an income tax nightmare for the IPL, the Board officials held an informal conclave in the picturesque hill-town of Dharamshala.

It assumes importance as it was the first meeting among the BCCI bigwigs after Modi’s tweets on the identity of Kochi stakeholders triggered off the furore.

Significantly Modi, who wields considerable power as the Indian Premier League chairman and commissioner, was kept out of the deliberation where the key members of the Governing Council generally assessed the fallout of the controversy and the Income Tax raids at IPL offices.

Keeping Modi out of the meeting is being seen as a snub to the high-flying IPL Commissioner.

Although it was not a scheduled meeting, the members who had gathered in Dharamshala for the inauguration of an academy and to watch the Deccan Chargers vs Kings XI Punjab match took the opportunity to take stock of the current developments and prepare the groundwork for the governing council meeting.

The furore started when Modi revealed the identities of the stakeholders of the Kochi team. The shareholders in the team include a Dubai-based businesswoman Sunanda Pushkar, who is a close friend of Tharoor.

Modi alleged that Tharoor tried to pressurise him into not revealing the stakeholders’ identity, especially Sunanda.

Tharoor denied the allegations and accused Modi of trying to scuttle Kochi’s bid.

An ugly war of words ensued and while Tharoor is now under intense pressure to resign, Modi has also landed in a soup as details have also emerged of his relatives’ stakes in Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.

The issue is also finding resonance in the BCCI’s power corridors where officials are towing the line of their respective parties — BJP and Congress.

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