Mumbai:Stepping up his attack, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Friday claimed that Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor had a hidden agenda of taking away the Kochi franchise to Abu Dhabi, a charge denied by him.
"This morning, I learnt from a colleague of mine that Mr Tharoor has approached that 'he would like their support to move the team out to Abu Dhabi. I don't know which way they are going. The theme is to play in India, We will not allow any team to play outside India," he said.
Modi said the IPL would stay in India. "We have a robust league and we will continue doing a good job irrespective of hidden agendas.
"We will not allow Mr Tharoor to try and shadow this up. Tharoor has a different agenda and it will be shut down, believe me," Modi said.
Rejecting Modi's claim, Tharoor said he heard after his return from Parliament that he had an agenda to shift the Kochi team to Abu Dhabi.
"Why should I take it to Dubai? I had referred to Dubai because there are a large number of Malayalees there and in the rest of the Gulf. There can be a possibility of an exhibition match. There is no question of my taking the Kochi team to Dubai," he said.
Modi also denied accusations that political pressure was put on investors to bid for the Ahmedabad franchise.
"There was no pressure from anybody. They went and met Mr Narendra Modi. He told them very clearly that you won this franchise for Kochi, so keep it to Kochi. They came to ask me to move it. They should have bid for Ahmedabad. They had the opportunity to bid for it."