Under pressure to quit, defiant Lalit Modi on Wednesday appeared to be on a collision course with the BCCI, questioning the legality of Monday’s Governing Council meeting to decide his fate as the IPL Commissioner.
However, BCCI sources expressed confidence that Modi would be voted out of the post notwithstanding his defiance and raising procedural issues.
The government also appeared to be concerned at the highest level with Prime Minister Mammohan Singh discussing the IPL row with senior BCCI official Rajiv Shukla, a Modi detractor.
Though he refused to disclose what he discussed with the Prime Minister, he told reporters that the BCCI would not hesitate to take "drastic" steps, implying the ouster of Modi to clear the mess.
With indications emerging that Sharad Pawar and other influential members of the BCCI, including president Shashank Manohar and secretary N. Srinivasan, and IPL vice-chairman Niranjan Shah said to be gunning for his removal, Modi on Wednesday sought postponement of the Monday meeting.
Sources said he has questioned the legality of the meeting on the ground that only he can convene it as the Commissioner.
He also wanted that the meeting be deferred for him to prepare himself for answering any issue that could be raised in the meeting on the raging controversy surrounding the IPL in the wake of the allegations over the funding and its sources.
Modi is understood to have conveyed to the BCCI that he would not be in a position to attend the Monday meeting as he wanted more time for preparation. There were reports that he wanted to make public all the details of the ownership pattern of the eight franchises but BCCI is understood to have put brakes on his proposal. However, there was no confirmation of this.
The IPL issue hotted up after Modi’s tweet last week raising questions over the ownership of Kochi IPL franchise following which Union Minister Shashi Tharoor had to quit. He was accused of having negotiated with the Kochi franchise to get sweat equity of the value of Rs 70 crores.
Similarly, questions have been raised over the unsuccessful bids of Videocon and Adani groups for Ahmedabad and the alleged sweat equity offer made by them to relatives of a couple of Union Ministers.(PTI)