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Pawar denies family’s involvement in IPL bid

June 4, 2010

Union minister Sharad Pawar has dismissed reports of his family’s involvement in the City Corporation’s failed bid for the Pune IPL team, saying the construction company’s Managing Director made the attempt in his individual capacity.

Amid reports alleging Pawar family’s shareholding in the company, which ultimately lost the bid to the Sahara Group, Pawar said, “I have stated earlier also that neither I nor any of my family members were involved in any IPL team or the bidding process and I reiterate that statement.”

“We were not involved at all in the bidding process. Even in the report, Mr Deshpande has made his position absolutely clear,” the ICC President-elect told reporters in New Delhi on Friday.

“In City Corporation’s board meeting on the 16th and 17th of that month, the board took a unanimous decision not (to get) involved. (But) the managing director was eager to get associated with the bidding process, so he was allowed in his individual capacity,” he said.

“In (the Board’s) resolution, it was made absolutely clear that there is no direct or indirect involvement of any shareholder other then Mr Deshpande personally,” he said.

Pawar rubbished suggestions of any underhand dealing in the bidding process, saying if he had used his influence, the company wouldn’t have lost to Sahara.

“Mr Deshpande, Maharashtra Cricket Association and Akruti of Mumbai collectively tried to get this bid but they did not succeed. Neither Mr Deshpande nor his colleagues succeeded in getting IPL teams. The effort was made, that is correct … but they didn’t get the bid,” he said.

“I was somebody in that organisation. Had I used any influence, do you think it would have lost the bid?” he asked.

Pawar reiterated that the IPL is clean and there is nothing murky about the ownership patterns and financial transactions in the league.

“There is no corruption. The government agencies are inquiring. Anyone who has done anything wrong will be punished. Investigating agencies will take care of it,” he said.

Asked why he did not disclose these details six weeks ago when the controversy cropped up, Pawar said, “There was no necessity felt for doing so.”

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