Senior Congress leader Narhari Amin on Thursday alleged that it was at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's behest that IPL commissioner Lalit Modi is trying to thwart the Kochi franchise.
Amin, a former Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) president, said the entire controversy stemmed from Adani group's failure to secure the Ahmedabad franchise in the IPL bid last month as Rendezvous Sports World outbid them to bag the Kochi team.
"I ask on whose direction is Lalit Modi doing this? Lalit Modi has attachment to BJP. Everybody knows how close he is to former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje," Amin told PTI.
"He (Lalit) was also defeated in Rajasthan Cricket Association election by a Congressman. So I suspect that this all is being done with a political motive," he added.
When asked if he meant Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was behind it, Amin replied,"yes" even though he refused to elaborate.
"This controversy is being created with team Kochi which had filed tender as per rules and paid the required bank guarantees. And now it is being asked who are their owners, what is role of Shashi Tharoor in the team and all that," Amin said, adding that all this was happening because the Gujarat CM could not get an IPL team for state.
Amin also alleged that before the bidding, the Gujarat CM, also the GCA president, had organised meeting between Lalit Modi and Gautam Adani at the GCA stadium in Motera.
"Lalit Modi had come to have a look at the GCA cricket ground after the bidding for two new IPL teams was announced. During that time GCA president Narendra Modi and vice-president Amit Shah arranged a meeting between Adani and Lalit Modi at the stadium itself," Amin said.
"There they had a closed door meeting for about an hour where Lalit briefed Adani to bid Rs 1400-1450 crore for the Gujarat team," he alleged.
"But, unfortunately, even after help from Lalit Modi, Adani could not get the team," he said.
"And this controversy with regard to IPL Kochi team is not just that. The members of the Kochi franchisee have been asked by Lalit Modi to allot their team to Ahmedabad and shift their base from Kochi to Ahmedabad," Amin said.
"That's why Kochi team members met BCCI chief Sharad Pawar and told him that Lalit Modi was pressurising them into doing this," he further alleged.
Amin also asked why Gujarat Chief Minister trusted only one industrialist and not formed a consortium, like the Kochi team, and bid higher.