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Praful more interested in IPL than Air India: BJP

April 22, 2010 19:32 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party attacked Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel for his alleged role in valuations of Indian Premier League bids, saying the minister could not value Air India or Indian Airlines but wants to play a consultant's role in T20 cricket tournament.

"You (Praful Patel) could not do Air India or Indian Airlines valuations... You could not come up to the expectation (on performance of your ministry), don't be a valuation consultant in the IPL," BJP leader Prakash Javedakar said in Rajya Sabha.

He said Patel's office forwarded emails from IPL CEO Sunder Raman to former junior external affairs minister Shashi Tharoor's office discussing details of IPL franchise valuations.

Javedakar said all shareholding (of the IPL franchisees) must be revealed. Information about the IPL teams should be made public, more so the financial details.

He demanded that the inflows through the Mauritius route and its origin should be investigated by the government.

The BJP leader urged Sports Minister M S Gill to assert himself and get to the bottom the IPL mess.

"We feared you as election commissioner... Now use your right and assert yourself and the whole country will be with you," he told Gill.

Earlier, initiating the discussion on the working of the ministry of sports and youth affairs, Jayanthi Natarajan (Congress) said the IPL has given birth to "crony capitalism and worst corporate governance".

Attacking the "celebrity obsessed reporting" by media, she said the other initiatives of the government like the Panchayati Raj was not covered by the media like the manner in which the IPL was done.

Natarajan demanded that the IPL should have been under the sports ministry and it has become a "blatant" case of self-regulation.

She said the Board of Cricket for Control in India gets huge tax exemption and has no accountability, responsibility or transparency. "We should not allow vested interests to continue," she said.

Natarajan questioned certain sports bodies being headed by individuals for as long as 40 years despite former prime minister late Indira Gandhi making a rule that no person would head a federation for more than two terms.

Kamal Akhtar (Samajwadi Party) demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the allegations, while Saman Pathak (Communist Party of India-Marxist) sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe.
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