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Updated: March 17, 2010 12:11 IST

IPL: Buddhadeb intervenes to resolve issue over galleries

Indrani Dutta
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A file picture of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.
A file picture of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.

The third instalment of the Indian Premier League (IPL) — which is stuck in controversies over creating special galleries for the rich and over the sale of allegedly fake tickets — saw West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee holding a meeting with Sports Minister Kanti Ganguly over the issues.

Mr. Ganguly said that while he had discussed the issue of fake tickets with Mr. Bhattacharjee, he has asked all parties to chalk out a solution for the gallery issue at a time when home team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was playing. “None of us wants the match to be disrupted,” he said.

Mr. Ganguly said he was trying to bring together all the parties and seek their cooperation for the forthcoming matches. “We are trying to adjust matters so as not to disturb the game,” he said.

‘Super hospitality area’

The controversy revolves round the creation of a ‘super hospitality area’ within the Ranji Stadium, better known as the Eden Gardens. With a seating capacity of about 350, this nook would allow the rich and powerful to buy tickets reportedly priced at Rs.32,000 each.

Ongoing renovation has curbed the one lakh-seater capacity by around 40 per cent, with many sports lovers being forced to return empty-handed from the ticket counters.

Fire Minister Pratim De — who had threatened to put in his papers over the issue and filed an FIR in this respect — said he had urged actor Shah Rukh Khan, owner of the KKR, not to use the controversial gallery.

“I am only trying to do my job and will abide by the rules as they pertain to the safety of the entire stadium,” Mr. De said.

The FIR was filed against the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and the KKR. Even as Mr. De shot off a letter to the Police Department urging them not to allow the use of the disputed gallery on Tuesday, the government said that as this would create problems as the gallery would have to be kept open for the March 16 match.

‘Complaint received’

City Police Commissioner Gautam Chakraborti said the Maidan Thana had received a complaint regarding the issue on Monday evening and that it had written to the Fire authorities and the Home Secretary.

Mr. Chakraborti said the decision on the demolition of the disputed gallery was the decision of the Fire Department and the Public Works Department (PWD), but added that the police would act only on instructions.

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