Minister resigns over IPL row

2010-04-19 07:44
Shashi Tharoor (File)

New Delhi - India's junior foreign minister has resigned amid allegations of corruption in the bidding for a new team in the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

Shashi Tharoor, a former United Nations diplomat, met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and several senior leaders of the ruling Congress party on Sunday before sending in his resignation later that night.

Tharoor found himself embroiled in the controversy that stems from an auction last month when a group made a successful bid of more than $330m for the Kochi franchise in the Twenty20 cricket league.

IPL chief Lalit Modi later revealed details about the owners of the team, questioning why 25% of the team was given to a group that included a friend of Tharoor's.

It was alleged that the friend's shares were really intended as a hidden gift to Tharoor.

A statement from the prime minister's office said that Tharoor's resignation was forwarded to the President Pratibha Patil with the recommendation that it be accepted.

Earlier on Sunday Tharoor's friend, businesswoman Sunanda Pushkar, announced that she would resign from her position on the team and give up her stake in the Kochi franchise.

Opposition politicians had demanded Tharoor resign, but the politician had earlier defended himself, saying there was no reason for the investors to bribe him since his ministry has nothing to do with the league and he had no way to influence an auction determined solely by who bid the most money.

Tharoor said he did help put together the winning investment group, but only because he wanted to bring a team to the state of Kerala, part of which he represents in Parliament.

Read more on:    ipl  |  lalit modi

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