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The curious case of Tharoor and Kochi franchise

April 12, 2010 20:20 IST

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor himself may not be a stakeholder but the lady he is reportedly planning to marry is part of the consortium which owns the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League, revealed IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

Clearing the air about the ownership structure of the little known Rendezvous Sports World which coughed up $333.33 million (appr Rs 1533 crore) to bag the Kochi franchise, Modi wrote on his Twitter page that the free equity holders include Kisan Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulati, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal.

Media reports have said that Tharoor proposed to marry Sunanda Pushkar, a Kashmiri girl. Trained as a beautician, she runs a spa and has lived in Dubai.

"A lot of you asking shareholders and events surrounding the kochi team. I am compiling a note shortly and will put an official release soon," Modi wrote.

Modi hinted there was pressure on him not to reveal the details of who all owns Rendezvous. "I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, especially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?" said Modi, a disclosure which could land Tharoor in a fresh controversy.

In a subsequent tweet, Modi spelled out the details. "Kochi shareholders are: Rendezvous 25 per cent free, Rendezvous one percent, Anchor 27 per cent, Parinee 26 per cent, Film Waves combine 12 per cent, Anand Shyam 8 per cent, Vivek Venugopal one per cent," Modi tweeted.

Interestingly, Tharoor had played an instrumental role in galvanising the Kochi consortium, insisting all along that he had no financial stake in it.

"All I did on my part was to offer encouragement, blessings and expert advise when required to the bidders. Beyond that, I had no role to play. It's a group of business people and I understand it's a business decision," Tharoor had said.

"I am not even sure whether I know all of them, nor do I have any knowledge of the decision that how much they were going to bid. I know this Rendezvous Sports World and had met the Gaekwad brothers.

"I have given them all kind of encouragement but my role was limited. It was like...what shall I say...mentor sounds too grand a word," Tharoor had said.

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