NEW DELHI — Lalit Modi's hitlist has another name on it. According to reports, the former IPL boss accused President Pranab Mukherjee as spearheading Congress' "revenge" politics against him for MP Shashi Tharoor's resignation.
"It was clear even before Tharoor resigned that Congress was furious over my decision to reveal Tharoor's ownership interest in the Kochi bid," Modi told UK officials.
Modi, in his 46-page plea to the UK authorities seeking permission to stay "as a representative of an overseas business", had blamed Mukherjee for engineering the Enforcement Directorate's probe against him in retaliation to Tharoor's sacking as External Affairs Minister. Mukherjee was Finance Minister in the UPA government in 2010. Modi tweeted that Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor's late wife, held 25 percent sweat equity in the upcoming Kochi IPL franchise — at the same time as Tharoor himself had made a bid for it.
Following Modi's disclosure, Congress was forced to ask Tharoor to resign and this had resulted in a huge backlash against Modi, he claimed. He told UK authorities that within days, the Income Tax department raided the BCCI office, and later initiated probes against him for potential forex violations in IPL 2, that took place in South Africa.
Modi also accused N Srinivasan, the BCCI's board treasurer at the time, of trying to discredit him. Modi said ex-Congressman Sharad Pawar, his colleague in the Nationalist Congress Party Praful Patel, and top businessman Mukesh Ambani had warned him that he would be arrested as soon as he came back to India. Patel has denied he and Pawar has ever warned Modi.