Watch this interview with Rajdeep Sardesai. It reveals a lot about the various politicians and corporates involved in the power struggle and control over the IPL, the largest generator of Black Money and thus a major power centre in Indian politics.
In written submissions to the First-tier Tribunal, Modi claimed he was told by Ambani that he (Modi) could return to India only if he promises to stay out of Rajasthan politics. Modi claimed before the Tribunal that this was "the word from the top" as conveyed to him by Ambani. The statement to the Tribunal, dated August 25, 2011, also claims that Pawar and Patel told him he would be arrested if he returned to India. Modi had filed an appeal to the Tribunal against an order of the UK Home Office denying him permission to stay in that country beyond 180 days. "For example, I have had conversations with Praful Patel and Sharad Pawar, both of whom told me that if I returned to India I would immediately be arrested and detained upon my arrival," as per the statement. With regard to the purported conversation with Ambani, Modi stated: "I also had a conversation in London in October 2010 with Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India, who told me that the word from the top was that if I promised to stay out of Rajasthan politics then I would be able to return".
However, Patel denied telling Modi that he would be arrested if he returned to India. "On the contrary, Pawar and me both told him to return to India whenever he spoke to us from abroad. Beyond that I have nothing else to say on what he has said in his applica tion. We know him for so many reasons. Pawar was the BCCI chief when Lalit Modi was the IPL commissioner and I knew him through Pawar. We (Pawar and him) have no love or grudge against him, we are neutral," Patel told ET. Confirming the statement made by Lalit Modi, his lawyer Mohammad Abdi told ET: "The detailed statement was made before the Tribunal after the UK Home Department had denied Mr Lalit Modi's permission to stay in UK." He said that the statement was in the context of an appeal filed against the Home Office order.
RIL had not responded to questions at the time of going to press. As per documents released on Monday by a PR firm, these submissions by Modi were made in a bid to get permission to extend his stay in UK on the ground that he faced threats, including politically motivated probes, if he returned to India.Modi also claimed that he was told by senior Congress leaders that if he returned to India he would be arrested.
In the statement dated August 25, 2011, Modi has submitted that he "received mixed messages from India about the possibility of my return".
Relying on the statements allegedly made by the prominent Indian personalities, Modi also told the UK Court that it was "difficult" for him to conclude "with any certainty whether it would be safe for me to return to India". Significantly , Modi's submission mentions a detailed statement supposedly made by Vasundhara Raje, now CM of Rajasthan, to the Tribunal in his support.
Modi's statement claims that Raje not only supported Modi's application (allowing him to stay in UK) but further elaborated upon the witch hunt which the UPA government was supposedly indulging in. The submission by Lalit Modi refers to the "linkage between State and Central government politics" explained by Raje in her statement.
"At this point, I refer to the statement provided by Vasundhara Raje in support of my application she very lucidly explains the linkage between state level and central government politics in India. In particular, she explains why it is that the Congress party is so determined to do whatever is required to take and retain control of Rajasthan, a key state in the context of national Indian politics," reads Modi's statement released by his PR firm on Monday . Raje's statement is dated August 18, 2011. Abdi declined to commented on the alleged statement by Vasundhara Raje.
Citing another ground for him to stay in UK, Modi told the UK Tribunal he was under "threat of assassination from the associates of Dawood Ibrahim who is the kingpin of Mumbai underworld and India's most wanted criminal".
Accusing the UPA government of vendetta, Modi also commented on the appointment of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the equation between Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar. Regarding Manmohan Singh becoming the Prime Minister, Modi said "in a departure from the norm, the current PM Manmohan Singh is a member of the Upper House, the Rajya Sabha. Most, but not all, previous prime ministers have been elected members of the Lok Sabha". On Sonia Gandhi, he said in his statement that "while Sharad Pawar is a minister in the Indian government, given the circumstances in which the NCP broke away from the Congress party , the alliance between the two parties is a decidedly uneasy one". He added "If the Congress party had an outright majority , they would never have taken the NCP and Pawar into the government". He concludes by saying "for obvious reasons Sonia Gandhi herself has great animosity towards Sharad Pawar".
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In press conferences held simultaneously in Chennai and Delhi, UPA-era finance minister P Chidambaram and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala pounced on Jaitley's remarks to drive home the point that Modi was indeed facing serious charges of foreign exchange violations and that Swaraj's helping him amounted to "nepo tism, abuse of authority and violation of procedures".
The new tack came on a day when the shadow of Lalit Modi lengthened over another leading light of the BJP, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, and amid growing apprehension in the saffron ranks that the controversy could hurt the party.
While throwing his weight behind Swaraj on Tuesday, Jaitley had empha sized that the charges against the colourful sports entrepreneur were serious enough to warrant the ED to show-cause him in 15 of the 16 cases pending against him. Further, while replying to a question, he said that Modi was wanted for investigation, with an alert in force to detain him whenever and wherever he is spotted in India. Referring to Jaitley's statement about ED's pending "showcause" notices against Modi, Chidambaram said that it proved that his government had not hounded the IPL founder when it sought his repatriation from the UK and that Swaraj's conduct in organizing a travel document for Modi raised serious questions.
The disclosure that Raje agreed to stand guarantee for Modi in his application to UK immigrations, and the renewed focus on her ties with him spells fresh trouble for the BJP at a time when it was engaged in firefighting over Swaraj. There is a creeping worry that the twin controversies may dim the lustre of Narendra Modi's `scam-free' government.
In fact, the Prime Minister remained under fire for the third straight day, with Chidambaram saying Jaitley's comment that the government was collectively responsible for Swaraj's favour to Lalit Modi showed that the PM could not escape responsibility. Surjewala jibed at the PM for not taking action against Swaraj, saying the embarrassment had forced Twitter-savvy Modi into silence. "He has become Maun-Modi," he said, a pun on the PM's sarcastic references to his predecessor as `Maun Mohan".
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