Mumbai, Apr 16: Further intensifying the ongoing IPL controversy, the Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi has alleged that Shashi Tharoor, the Minister of State for External Affairs, wanted to move the Kochi franchise to Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to a leading TV news channel, Times Now, Modi vowed that he will not let the minister succeed in this campaign.
"This morning, I learnt from a colleague of mine that Mr Tharoor has approached that 'he would like their support to move the team out to Abu Dhabi. I don't know which way they are going. The theme is to play in India, we will not allow any team to play outside India," he said.
"All these allegations are to digress from giving the truth as to who the shareholders are and that's the key and that's what we are looking for," he added.
The IPL chief also alleged that the minister had a 'hidden agenda'in the Kochi consortium's franchise bid.
"We will not allow Mr Tharoor to try and shadow this up. Tharoor has a different agenda and it will be shut down, believe me," Modi said.
The war of words between Tharoor and Modi started when the ownership of the Kochi team was questioned.
Earlier, making his first official statement amid uproar in the Parliament over allegations of corruption and misuse of power, Tharoor defended himself saying that his role in the bidding process was limited to that of mentoring and he did so to for Kerala.