RCB owner Mallya backs beleagured IPL chief Lalit Modi

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Bangalore, Apr.20 (ANI): Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) owner Vijay Mallya has strongly supported IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, saying that he is the creator and the brains behind a highly successful and lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mallya said IPL owes its success to Modi and said that he was perplexed and amused by the hue and cry raised over trans-border transactions by some IPL franchisees.

"Unfortunately, this entire issue has snowballed into an unnecessary storm. As far as I'm concerned, I'm full of appreciation for what Lalit Modi has delivered through the IPL. If he has issues with the Government of India, that's his private matter and he needs to deal with it," said Mallya.

"Cross-border transaction is part and parcel of the growth and development of Indian economy. Just because some investment has been routed through Mauritius doesn't make it tainted investment," Mallya added.

He was referring to Modi's decision to reveal the ownership of IPL Kochi franchise, which cost Shashi Tharoor his ministerial job.

With allegations of money laundering and betting doing the rounds, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that all aspects, including the sources and routes of funding of IPL teams, will be thoroughly probed.

He said RCB had a clean slate and he had no doubts that other franchises also had unsullied record.

He also rejected reports of franchise owners meeting with BCCI officials on the cash row and ownership issue.

A private television channel quoted him as saying: "I'm not aware of any such meeting. But if there is a meeting of the franchise owners, I will attend as I always do. But as of now, I'm not aware of any such initiative to dislodge Modi." (ANI)

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