New Delhi, Apr.15 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has reportedly sought time for a meeting with UPA Chairperson and Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi today.
Sources close to the minister said that the appointment has been sought to clear the air on the controversy surrounding his alleged involvement with the newly formed Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and is clash/ disagreement with Lalit Modi, the chairman of the IPL Governing Council.
According to one private television channel, Tharoor met both Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister AK Anthony on Wednesday night to explain the ongoing controversy, even as the opposition continues to demand that he be sacked on charges of corruption and conflict of interest.
Sources said Tharoor explained his version to both ministers at the nearly one-hour-long meeting, and Mukherjee and Anthony are said to have deliberated further on the matter after Tharoor left.
Sources have suggested that Tharoor has been given an option of explaining his position in Parliament today.
On Wednesday, Tharoor ruled out chances of him resigning from the Union Cabinet over the IPL issue saying that he has not done anything wrong or misused his office.
The meeting came after the Congress Core Group headed by party chief Sonia Gandhi met to discuss the strategy in Parliament on the eve of the resumption of the Budget Session.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had indicated in Washington that he would take action in the issue if warranted after his return from Brazil, where he is at present to attend the fourth IBSA summit and the BRIC summit.
Earlier, Modi in his email to BCCI chief Shashank Manohar had stated it was Tharoor who called him and instructed him not to reveal identities of the stakeholders of Kochi IPL franchisee.
Tharoor, according to news channels, has denied Modi"s allegation, and said: "I deny Modi"s allegation that I called him during his meeting with investors in the Kochi consortium in Bangalore in order to press him not to question the composition of the consortium."
Tharoor said he had "enough" of the controversy and went on to deny any monetary interest in the Kochi IPL team.
"I called Modi to ask why he was further delaying the approval of the franchise when all the legal requirements had been fulfilled.
Mr. Modi had held up approval by the IPL of the franchisee agreement earlier by insisting on the reversal of a change in the document that he himself had earlier suggested", Tharoor said "This change was made, the consortium members flew to Bangalore and met Modi after that night"s IPL game for what they had been told would be a routine exercise. Instead they were submitted to a barrage of questions, which led some to suspect that Modi was seeking a further excuse to delay approval. This was the reason for my intervention with Modi", he added.
In tweets on Monday, Modi has accused Tharoor of asking him not to investigate who makes up the Rendezvous Sports World group that led the consortium that bought the Kochi team. Modi also revealed the details of the different partners and their stake in the Kochi team. (ANI)