Kolkata: Remember the 2010 fallen IPL chairman who was accused of financial irregularities by the BCCI for which he had to leave the country in order to save himself from the Indian law? Well, with the Interpol rejecting India’s appeal to issue a global arrest warrant against him, Lalit Modi couldn’t have been more happier. NDTV caught up with him, who is still on the run from the hands of Indian law, in the Sukhothai Hotel in Bangkok his current address.
The Interpol’s rejection of India’s appeal has also brought in questions as to whether Lalit Modi has had a hand in this. But he clearly brushed aside such charges as he said,
“I hire ex-Interpol officials to understand the law, not influence it.”
Modi has a close friend in Ron Noble, the former head of Interpol and his lawyer, Rutsel Martha was Interpol’s legal counsel. He maintains that despite knowing some former influential members of the body, he has been cleared by the independent commission of judges who under no circumstances can be influenced.
He still faces a lot of charges in India, the most crucial and serious of them being the one by the Enforcement Directorate where they have alleged that Modi wiped off a huge sum of ₹125 crores during the 2010 edition of India’s cash rich T20 tournament- the Indian Premier League.
The Enforcement Directorate for that matter had claimed that Modi was guilty of financial irregularities but hasn’t yet filed a formal charge against him. Reflecting upon this issue, Modi referred to the body as, “clowns.”
But he lost his cool when he was asked as to how he could afford his nomadic yet lavish lifestyle. “Are you aware of the worth of the KK Modi group?” replied Modi, while referring to his family businesses which range from cigarettes to chemicals.
Although the former IPL chairman does not currently hold an executive position in his family business, he believes that he has had financial backing and support all throughout his journey.
Said Modi, “I always had a larger-than-life lifestyle,”
He further added that he “was born with a diamond spoon in my mouth.”
And then he quickly counter- questioned, “Ask politicians in Delhi where their money is coming from.” He explained, “As the only industrial family of Delhi, I know source of money.”
Lalit Modi has always held the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in high regard and his open condemnation of political and administrative systems in India does not, in a way challenge the Prime Minister’s stance towards corruption, which is unforgivingly ruthless. Said Modi, ” If I save myself, why should that discredit the Indian government?”
But he however accepted the fact the he and the current Finance Minister doesn’t seem to have a liking towards each other ever since the latter, in his stay in the BCCI advised strong action to be taken against him.
He revealed that all this happened because he had alleged that financial malpractice was in play in the DDCA( Delhi and District Cricket Association) which was then headed by Jaitley. But he refused to produce sufficient evidence to support his claims.
The former IPL chairman says that he wouldn’t return to India for the fear of a vengeful legal and political system.
Nonetheless, he said that he has made up his mind that he would let go of the game. Said Modi, “I am ready to hang up my boots from today.”
But despite his efforts to sever his ties with cricket, his son, Ruchir, is planning to contest the elections for the head of the Rajasthan Cricket Association ( RCA) which was once Modi’s domain. And even some speculate that this is one of the ways in which the former IPL chairman and commissioner would want to exert a sort of a proxy control in the cricket body.
And quite interestingly, he claims that this decision is completely a result of his son’s own thoughts and he has absolutely nothing to do with it. He says, “I want him to lose the RCA elections. So does his mother”.
(With inputs from NDTV)