External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding his deputy Shashi Tharoor regarding the Kochi IPL team.

Mr. Krishna drove past waiting newsmen without answering any question from them outside Ms. Gandhi’s residence. It was not known as to what figured in the discussion between the Minister and Ms. Gandhi.

Congress MP Rajeev Shukla, who is also Vice President of the BCCI, also had a meeting with Ms. Gandhi. Shukla, however said he did not discuss the Tharoor issue with the Congress President.

“This issue was not discussed with her,” Mr. Shukla said after meeting Gandhi.

Mr. Tharoor, who is locked in a fresh controversy around the Kochi IPL team which he helped set up, today hit back at IPL boss Lalit Modi alleging he had made attempts to pressure the winning consortium to abandon their bid for the Kerala outfit.

Mr. Tharoor also denied that he had told Mr. Modi not to ask details about owners of the consortium led by Rendezvous that bought the new franchisee.

In a statement, the Minister of State for External Affairs trained his guns on the powerful cricket board official alleging that various attempts were made by Mr. Modi and others to pressure the members of the consortium to abandon their bid in favour of another city in a different state.

According to reports, Ahmedabad was being mentioned as the other city.

“I deny Mr Lalit Modi’s allegation that I called him during his meeting with investors in the Kochi consortium in Bangalore on Saturday night in order to press him not to question the composition of the consortium,” Tharoor said.

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