April 19, 2010

Mr Tharoor submitted his resignation to Mr Singh on Sunday night,President Pratibha Patil accepted the resignation late Sunday......
                   This has followed a week of drama involving a public spat between Lalit Modi, the chief of the IPL, and Mr Tharoor over ownership of the new cricket team for Kochi. Mr Modi sent out a series of Twitter messages, "disclosing" the owners of the Kochi team and their shareholding stakes. Mr Modi said they included Sunanda Pushkar, a Dubai-based businesswoman and a friend of Mr Tharoor. It's Modi's tweets that unleashed the drama that took Tharoor, a minister, hostage for a week, before he resigned under considerable pressure from his own party on Sunday night.

     Mr Tharoor and Ms Pushkar say the stake was awarded as "sweat equity" in return for marketing and professional services to the new franchise - but Ms Pushkar has now offered to surrender the stake.

         Kochi was sold to Rendezvous Sports World Limited for $333m at auction. It is one of two new franchises which will join the IPL from 2011, taking the total number of teams to 10. Mr Tharoor has said that Mr Modi tried to persuade the owners of Kochi to drop their bid in favour of another city.

       Income tax officials have also launched an investigation into the IPL amidst allegations of corruption and nepotism involving Mr Modi. The IPL has become a multi-billion dollar industry, which attracts some of India's wealthiest businessmen and women.Sources say Modi may be asked to quit as IPL Commissioner. The IPL's governing council, which is reportedly against Modi, is meeting later this month. It will be followed by a meeting of the BCCI Working Committee, where a final call is likely to be made.


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