The Gujarat Cricket Association has distanced itself from the controversy over the bidding of the Kochi team for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

GCA vice-president Amit Shah, who is also Minister of State for Home, said here on Thursday that the association or its president, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had played no role in the bidding process, and his (Mr. Modi's) name was being unnecessarily dragged into the controversy.

Refuting the former GCA president, Narhari Amin's allegation that IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi had met the Chief Minister 45 days ago to work out a strategy for the success of the Ahmedabad team in the IPL bidding, Mr. Shah said it was “politically-motivated and baseless.” Apparently, he said, Mr. Amin was not aware that the IPL bidding process was “very transparent” with the highest bidder walking away with a team. Nor did the allegations that Mr. Lalit Modi assisted the GCA and its main promoter and Ahmedabad-based businessman, Gautam Adani, with the bidding process for the Ahmedabad-based team hold water. Mr. Shah also refuted Mr. Lalit Modi's reported statement that some members of the Rendezvous consortium had met Mr. Narendra Modi for transferring the team from Kochi to Ahmedabad. He agreed that some promoters did meet the Chief Minister but that meeting was not to decide the bidding process in which only the highest quotation was accepted. He insisted that allegations were levelled against the GCA and Mr. Narendra Modi for “purely political reasons.”

Mr. Amin had criticised the GCA set-up and the Chief Minister for the failure to win the bid for Ahmedabad, though a “strategy” was evolved with the IPL Commissioner.

About holding matches in Ahmedabad, Mr. Shah said the Ahmedabad Motera stadium had the best of infrastructure.

PTI reports:

Satyajit Gaekwad, spokesman for the Kochi franchise, alleged that Mr. Lalit Modi was targeting the new team under pressure from Mr. Narendra Modi.

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