New Delhi, Aug 10: The Congress on Monday, Aug 10 directly attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi by alleging that as the then president of Gujarat Cricket Association, he had helped "manipulate" bids to favour former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi.
"We always wondered as to why the prime minister is silent on this (Lalit Modi controversy). So we dug a little deeper and found the reason," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told media persons here.
He released documents to back his claims that Narendra Modi - the chief minister of Gujarat at that time - was "apparently involved in manipulating bids with the help of Lalit Modi".
Narendra Modi wanted to ensure that the Gujarat Cricket Association, with him as president and Amit Shah as vice president, favoured certain people with an IPL franchise by imposing onerous conditions through a carefully crafted strategy, Sibal said.
"Lalit Modi had also sent an e-mail in this matter, stating he was meeting Narendra Modi and 'they would do what is needed. He is very close to me'", he added.
The senior Congress leader said the bids were cancelled after complaints by other bidders, but no action was taken against the public servants who had helped a private party.
"Throughout this period, both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were public servants. A close nexus between Amit Shah and Lalit Modi is clearly established".
Sibal also gave copies of a Board of Control of Cricket in India inquiry report which allegedly indicted Lalit Modi for putting onerous clauses to restrict the number of bidders to favour certain groups.
"The present finance minister, Arun Jaitley, who was a signatory to the inquiry report, did not file an FIR to expose the conflict of interest of his master," he said.
"The prime minister knows a lot more. That is why he is quiet. He should break his silence," the Congress leader said.
"Why is his 'mann ki baat' remaining with him," Sibal asked
He claimed it was due to this nexus that the external affairs ministry was bypassed on issues related to Lalit Modi.