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Updated: April 22, 2010 09:49 IST

Karat seeks comprehensive probe

Special Correspondent
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CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat. File photo
PTI CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat. File photo

The CPI (M) General Secretary said IPL was a ‘sordid profiteering big-business enterprise in the name of cricket.’ Mr. Karat said the allegations raised were too serious and that an investigation by a joint parliamentary committee would be ideal.

Contending that the resignation of Shashi Tharoor or Lalit Modi would not address the issues thrown up by the IPL controversy, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday called for a ‘comprehensive investigation' into the “profiteering big-business enterprise in the name of cricket.”

An investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee would be ideal, but the Opposition would consider if the Centre planned to have the whole issue probed by an appropriate agency, Mr. Karat told a news conference here.

Mr. Karat said very serious issues of corruption, tax evasion and financial malpractices had been raised, and they could not be left to the IPL or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for being resolved. “It is incumbent upon the government to pursue the matter in detail.” The IPL as “big-business entertainment” rather than a sporting event; the “IPL model” wouldn't do well for India, he said.

Hartal against price rise

Mr. Karat said the nationwide hartal called by 13 Opposition parties for April 27 against price rise would pressure the government to abandon the policies that fuelled inflation. The Left and other parties such as the AIADMK, the TDP and the Samajwadi Party were demanding that the 5 per cent customs duty proposed in the budget be dropped, as it spiralled inflationary pressure. They also wanted the public distribution system bolstered. “We want the current BPL-APL divide to be scrapped, and all the citizens be made eligible for subsidised food.”

Mr. Karat said the Left parties opposed the move for disinvestment in profitable public sector enterprises. The government proposed to make Rs. 40,000 crore from the process and use the money for filling the budgetary holes. The sum, he reckoned, was roughly equal to the tax breaks and concessions offered to the corporate sector. He urged trade unions to jointly resist the move.

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