Most of the dirty details about the Indian Premier League muck are coming from exposes by The Economic Times. Today's story by the paper, how I wished they had played it big on their cover page, is one of the best so far. It expands the realm of questionable ministerial behaviour beyond the conduct of Shashi Tharoor. Of course, Praful Patel has denied any wrong doing. But you can make up your mind by perusing the report reproduced below:
BV Rao | April 22, 2010
Secy forwarded mail;I only helped Shashi,my friend: Patel
Ministers personal secretary had sent projections of new franchisee valuations to Tharoor
Rohini Singh & Sruthijith KK NEW DELHI
ADAY after civil aviation minister Praful Patel claimed that he has nothing to do with the Indian Premier League,it has emerged that his personal secretary had last month sent a mail to Shashi Tharoor,the erstwhile junior minister for external affairs,with a Microsoft Excel document containing projections of new franchisee valuations in IPL.Emails that ET reporters have seen show that Champa Bharatwaj,personal secretary to Mr Patel,forwarded a mail from her official ID to Shashi Tharoors personal ID,hours after IPL CEO Sundar Raman sent the same document to the aviation ministers daughter and IPL hospitality manager Poorna Patel.
In the wake of a raging controversy surrounding cricket,politics,and charges of betting and money laundering,Mr Patel said on Tuesday that he had nothing to do with IPL,even though his daughter,24-year-old Poorna Patel,works with the cricket league as a junior employee.I have never been part of the IPL bidding process at allwhether it was round one or round two.This is a completely baseless allegation, Patel told ET on Tuesday.
On Wednesday,Mr Patel said his secretary was only forwarding information requested by Mr Tharoor.Shashi and I have been friends and he did ask me whether I could help him with some information in the capacity of a friend,since he was putting together a team from Kochi.I spoke to Lalit and told him that Shashi wanted some information.Beyond that I dont know what information has been passed.If I was a bidder,why would I help out a competitor with information he said.
Patels secretary sent a mail to Tharoor at 10:06 pm on March 19,two days before the bids were opened and Tharoor-supported Kochi consortium sprang a surprise by making the second-highest bid.About two hours earlier that day,this document was first sent by IPL CEO Sundar Raman to Poorna Patel,the aviation ministers 24-year-old daughter who works with the league as hospitality manager.Raman copied Patel and one Peter Griffiths of IMG.
Poorna Patel admitted that she had forwarded the mail to her fathers secretary,but said she was only following CEO Sundar Ramans instructions.Sundar had given me certain instructions and I was merely following that.Other than that I have no idea, said Poorna Patel.
Raman,on his part,told ET that he sent it to Poorna Patel as a key member of the IPL team,but did not know why she forwarded it to the ministers office.A close aide of Tharoor declined to comment
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