I won’t resign, let them sack me: Lalit Modi

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New Delhi, 25 April 2010: Unfazed by the all-round attack on him, Lalit Modi on Saturday made it clear that he will not resign as IPL Commissioner and threatened to "expose some people" who tried to bring disrepute to the game.

With the dice heavily loaded against him in the Monday meeting of the IPL Governing Council and indications that he may be sacked, Modi said people were pressurising him to resign and dared his detractors to remove him.

Modi made his views public by tweeting his remarks even as top BCCI officials met informally to consider the strategy for Monday meeting where a resolution is likely to be brought forward for removing him if he absents himself.

The BCCI President Shashank Manohar, vice-President Arun Jaitely, secretary N Srinivasan, IPL vice-Chairman Niranjan Shah, finance and media committee chairman Rajiv Shukla and Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty were present at the meeting which went through documents to prepare the grounds for laying charges against Modi.

Elsewhere, Modi got the backing of franchise owners, including Vijay Mallya Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, who hailed him for the success of the IPL and said he should be given a chance to redeem himself.

"People pressurising me to resign - I can tell you (it) will not happen. Let them remove me then," he wrote.

"What we have done has been there for all of you to see for the past four years. No one can take that away," he said. He also had a hint of threat to his opponents. "Wait for the IPL to finish. I will reveal the men who have tried to bring disrepute to the game and how we stopped them from doing it," he said.

"I am not the type to quit. Have faith. Did not create this to just walk away because X Y Z says what he feels like", he said in another tweet.

Modi, who has been in the eye of a storm after Income tax raids on IPL and its franchises’ offices allegedly revealed financial irregularities, also accused the media for putting out unverified stories about his dealings.

"Media putting stories without verification goes to show how Media can misuse their power. Don’t get influenced by all these baseless stories. Truth will prevail soon. Trial by media and no chance to present the facts is like the wild west. Wait and the facts will be delivered," he added.

Modi’s tweets show that he is in no mood to go down without a fight and has set the stage for a bitter showdown with the BCCI bosses who today rejected his emotional plea to defer the governing council meeting by five days.

Attempts by Sharad Pawar to persuade Modi to step down and not to precipitate matters appeared to have failed.

"He (Modi) may say anything. A decision will be taken on April 26 at the Governing Council meeting," Manohar told waiting reporters after the meeting.

The action unfolded early on Saturday morning with Mallya meeting union minister and former BCCI President Sharad Pawar at his residence.

Although it is not known what was discussed, Mallya threw his weight behind Modi.

"I think Modi must be given some opportunity at some point of time to explain himself. This whole controversy has become an unnecessary toofan. Yes, there may be some questions about the way in which IPL runs. Clearly some governing council members may not be happy. Let all that be properly investigated," he said.

There were unconfirmed reports that Pawar wanted the BCCI to give an honourable exit to Modi, whom he had backed when the scandal initially broke out. But no BCCI official confirmed such a development.

The strong "anti-Modi" mood within the BCCI is quite clear with the entire top brass and most of the Governing Council members boycotting the award function last night. The BCCI officials are also planning to skip the IPL final on Sunday.

The BCCI source said that the president is empowered to remove him as per the board constitution and there would be no legal hassles in case such an option is exercised.

Modi’s decision not to move court, questioning the validity of the April 26 meeting has also raised speculation that a compromise formula is being worked out.

But the mounting pressure on BCCI to take a hard stand and clean up the entire IPL mess would make it tough for Modi to find an escape route this time around, observer said.

The BCCI is believed to be planning to form a sub-committee to run the Twenty20 league in future, according to sources.

"The idea is to carve out a smaller committee out of the present IPL Governing Council and include three or four persons to run the show instead of making it a one-man show like it was till present," the sources said.

The names mentioned in the BCCI corridors are those of Arun Jaitley, Niranjan Shah, Ravi Shastri and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. All of them are members of IPL Governing Council headed by Modi whose days seem to be numbered.

"A lot of things were discussed during the informal meeting. A lot of time went in going through the documents. Such an exercise was necessary to lay the charges against him", the source said.

If Modi absents himself from the meeting, it appears almost certain that the Governing Council will pass a resolution against him and oust him from the post.

"There is still one day for the meeting and he may still change his decision not to resign. We want to settle this issue without any acrimony, but if he does not attend the meeting, there is no choice", the source said.

It is learnt that the Governing Council will lay the charge of financial irregularity in television and some other deals dagainst Modi.


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