Tharoor meets PM, reported to have offered to resign

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor is reported to have offered his resignation to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Sunday over the Kochi IPL fiasco.

Informed sources said Tharoor has left it to Dr Singh to take a final call on the matter.

The sources said that Tharoor might step down if the Congress leadership feels that this is the course to follow.

Tharoor reportedly had a forty-five minutes long meeting with Dr Singh, where he put forward his views.

He was seen coming out of the Prime Minister's residence and entering his car. The car made a hasty exit from the compound.

Meanwhile, there are also reports that Tharoor's close companion Sunanda Pushkar may sell off her sweat equity in the Kochi IPL franchise to avoid further scrutiny and unnecessary publicity.

Tharoor called on Dr Singh this morning ahead of the Congress Core Committee Meeting today.

Dr Singh is likely to meet with the Congress top brass at around 6: 30 p.m. at his official residence.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram are expected to attend the meeting.

Sources said the Congress High Command is unconvinced with Tharoor's defence with regard to his role in the controversial Kochi IPL franchise and may take a final decision before the Parliament reconvenes on Monday.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday demanded Tharoor's sacking and lashed out at the government for using its might to save the 'tainted' minister.

Advani said Tharoor was not fit to be a minister.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh too demanded Tharoor's dismissal in the wake of the IPL row.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) also made a similar demand.

"Tharoor's behaviour is unbecoming of a minister and out of tune with Indian politics," said CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta.

The BJP had earlier demanded a CBI probe into Tharoor's role.

It said Tharoor's link with the IPL team Kochi was a patent abuse authority by a minister.

Tharoor is reportedly in trouble after IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi tweeted to reveal that Sunanda Pushkar, a close associate of Tharoor, had been gifted sweat equity worth Rs 70 crores in the new Kochi team, which was sold for Rs 1530 crores last month.

Modi in his email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar had stated it was Tharoor who called him and instructed him not to reveal the identities of the stakeholders of the Kochi IPL franchisee.

Tharoor, however, has denied this.

Tharoor said he had 'enough' of the controversy and denied securing any monetary interest in the Kochi IPL team. (ANI)

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