Mumbai, Jun 17: NCP chief Sharad Pawar tried to convince Lalit Modi to return to India and "face the law" during a meeting in London in May but the fugitive former IPL boss said he faced "threat to his life" if he came back.
"I met Lalit Modi in London around mid-May this year and asked him to return to India to face the law. He said He was not worried about cases filed against him but was facing a security threat and expressed concern over the threat to his life. Earlier, I had been told by an official about security threat to Lalit Modi," Pawar told reporters today.
Pawar, a former president of BCCI, said he had offered to speak to the Indian government if Lalit Modi wanted to return to the country.
A TV channel, which had yesterday interviewed Modi, in the eye of a raging political storm over assistance extended to him by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in obtaining travel papers in the UK, had quoted him having said he was also helped by NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel.
Asked to comment on the row, Pawar said, "The issue is being unneccessarily exaggerated." On Congress' unsparing attack on the government following the controversy, the veteran NCP leader said the opposition party has got an issue on its hand so it is speaking about it.