Tharoor-Lalit-Sunanda-IPL Drama

I am totally amazed at the attitude of Congess party. It has stated that the “Shashi-Sunanda-IPL” fiasco is a personal matter of the minister and that it has nothing to do with the Congress party. With an attitude like this how can corruption be ever eliminated in this country?

According to me, it is the responsibility of not only the Congress party but also the Government to investigate and clarify any situation where there is even a hint of some wrong doing on the part of a minister. When it is revealed that a minister, who was known to have some interest in the selection of IPL team for Kochi (which by itself is not a crime), has love interest with a lady who has been gifted 18% ownership of the Kochi team, I think it is prima facie evidence of some wrong doing. The minister as well as the government has an obligation as well as a duty to clarify the matter.

I don’t know about you but I have not heard of any businessman gifting such a huge amount (approx Rs. 250 crores) to a third party without any consideration. Also, I think that Sunanda Pushkar is liable to pay income tax also. If the gift has been made to a non-relative, then if I am not mistaken the amount received by the receiver of the gift is to be treated as income. If one could do this, nobody would be paying income tax and everybody would be gifting the amounts to each other. I think Sunanda Pushkar is liable to pay approx. Rs. 60-70 crores as taxes.

Apart from this, Shashi Tharoor has the responsibility to make a clear statement of his interest in the Kochi IPL team and Sunanda Pushkar as far as it relates to the IPL ownership. I have no interest in his personal relationship with Sunanda but it does become a matter of our interest once he decides to mix politics, business and love interest.

I am also surprised that Shashi Tharoor is blaming Lalit Modi for his indiscretion instead of clarifying how his love interest was gifted 18% stake in a Rs. 1500 crore IPL team. Lalit Modi may have violated a confidentiality clause but if you ask me he did no wrong. I think he was under an obligation as well as a duty to reveal a corrupt action of a politician. If it turns out that Shashi Tharoor was actually gifted this stake for helping the Rendezvous consortium to acquire the Kochi team, then don’t you think that Lalit Modi had a duty to reveal the matter to the general public. I think he did as this would be a clear case of corruption by a Minister.

So, Shashiji, my suggestion is that please make everything clear. Hiding the facts will only lead to more speculation and PR disaster. If you want to avoid a PR disaster, the best policy they say is to reveal everything. Remember, we have too many channels and too many newspapers but few stories. So, do yourself a favour and tell the truth.

Avinash Narula

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