IPL Crisis: Politics and Sports should not be mixed, says PM

Onboard Air India One, May 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has said that politcs and sports should not be mixed.

Speaking onboard Air India One on the controversy surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL), while on his way back from state visits to Japan and Thailand, Dr. Singh said:"Not prudent to comment while investigations are underway. I hope that sport doesn't get mixed up with politics."

The Prime Minister appeared to be cautioniong his cabinet colleagues to avoid commenting on the spot fixing in the IPL, and the crisis presently afflicting the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) till all investigations are complete.

The Prime Minister's comment came even as there have been calls in the recent past from ministers within the government and from within the BCCI for N.Srinivasan, its president, to resign on moral grounds in the wake of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan's arrest on charges of betting and match fixing during the sixth edition of the IPL.

Srinavasan has stood firm about not resigning, as he continues to claim that he has done no wrong, and that he has ordered a formal inquiry into Meiyappan's off the field activities by a three-member commission.

Dr. Singh's comment has also come even as the Crime Branch and Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) officials are carrying out raids on hotels of suspected Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing accused Vikram Aggarwal here on Friday.

Aggarwal is said to be the key link between small time Bollywood and television actor Vindoo Dara Singh and Chennai Super King's owner Gurunath Meiyappan in the IPL betting and spot fixing scam.

Friday's raids, which are still on, came a day after Mumbai Police, which is probing the IPL spot-fixing scandal, summoned hotelier Aggarwal for questioning.

Aggarwal alias Victor was asked to surrender before the Tamil Nadu Police on Thursday, but has so far missed the deadline.

Aggarwal, the Tamil Nadu Police claim, has been active in betting circles and was the person who introduced Vindoo Dara Singh to Gurunath Meiyappan.

Both Vindoo and Meiyappan are in police custody and are being interrogated over their role in betting on Indian Premier League or IPL matches.

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court has dismissed Aggarwal"s plea for anticipatory bail.

Aggarwal owns a franchise of Hotel Radisson Blu and other properties in Chennai.

A few days ago, the police said investigations are on to find out why Aggarwal"s wife telephoned a cricket bookie, now under arrest, over a 100 times.

Police said the hotelier used the phone connection in his wife"s name to get in touch with the bookies.

Aggarwal is said to have originally been involved in the construction business and then become a hotelier.

He has two hotel properties - the 129-room Fortune Select Palms and the 162-room Radisson Blu Hotel City Centre. (ANI)

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