“Pawar has been less than transparent on his role in IPL bid”

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday charged Union Minister Sharad Pawar and Nationalist Congress Party chief with being less than transparent in his public statements related to his alleged involvement in bidding for an Indian Premier League franchise and demanded that he resign.

Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said here the BJP stood by its earlier demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the “murky” activities of the IPL. Only such an inquiry will be able to throw light on the “dark money deals of the IPL.”

It is not love of the game, but love of the commerce of cricket that has made politicians like Sharad Pawar take interest in the sport, Mr. Prasad charged. After Mr. Pawar and his daughter MP, Supriya Sule, stated categorically that they did not hold any stake in any IPL franchise, it turned out that two companies owned 100 per cent by the Pawars were stakeholders in City Corporation, a Pune-based construction company that bid for an IPL franchise.

Mr. Prasad ridiculed the assertion by MD Aniruddha Deshpande that he was bidding not in the company's name but in his individual capacity. “A corporate and an individual are two different entities. An individual cannot bid in the name of a company. What he has claimed is blatantly absurd,” he said.

He must go: Munde

Mumbai Special Correspondent reports:

BJP leader Gopinath Munde has demanded the immediate resignation of Mr. Pawar. Either Mr. Pawar should quit or the Prime Minister must remove him from the Cabinet, he said.

Mr. Munde told journalists that the “IPL is a maha ghotala [scam] and Pawar himself was president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) when the IPL was launched. As Union Agriculture Minister, his entire attention is only on cricket and not on his Ministry.”

For a few months now, Mr. Pawar has been denying any involvement in the IPL bids but “now the truth is out before the people of this country,” he said, referring to a news report in a daily. How can Mr. Pawar deny that he is not involved in the IPL "It was set up by him," Mr. Munde said.

He reiterated the demand for a JPC probe into the IPL and said the roots of the “black money” invested in the IPL must be investigated.

Keywords: BJPPawarIPL controversy

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