Lalit Modi has sounded a warning bell for N. Srinivasan and his supporters in the Board of Control for Cricket in India. In an exclusive chat with NDTV on Tuesday evening, the controversial former Indian Premier League commissioner said he was all set to take on his Board rivals and "clean up" Indian cricket for good.
In the course of the interview, an aggressive Modi made a damning charge that BCCI is all about "fixing, fixing and fixing". While his indication at the IPL spot-fixing controversy was clear, the 50-year-old flamboyant businessman who launched the IPL in 2008 hinted at how BCCI (read: Srinivasan) not only fixed matches but also rigged the judiciary to keep him out of cricket administration for so long.
A court directive paved the way for Modi's election as president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. Although the elections were held in December, the results were formally declared by court observers in Jaipur on Tuesday. But within hours of Modi being named president - this is his second innings as RCA boss - the BCCI suspended RCA for electing a man who has been banned by the Board for misappropriation of funds.
In the chat with NDTV, Modi was clearly on the attack. Like a boxer, he hooked and punched away to glory as his angst against Srinivasan was eloquently clear. Saying that the decision to suspend RCA was at the behest of Srinivasan, Modi called the BCCI move, "childish and foolish." In his social media interactions, Modi regularly calls Srinivasan a "monster" and a "mafia" and blames the Tamil Nadu strongman for his ouster from Indian cricket.
"I have done the long, hard work to come back to BCCI. Don't write me off. I am here to stay and clean the mess that Srinivasan has put the BCCI in," Modi said, adding: "It seems to someone's personal agenda against me. If the BCCI has an axe to grind, take me on. Why suspend RCA?"
Saying that his life is under threat, Modi has lived in exile in UK for several years now. He claimed that there were no charges against him and he felt unsafe to return as long as the current government was in power. "Hopefully, the new government will not do the witch-hunt that I am subjected to," Modi said, clearly revealing his allergy to the Congress regime.
Modi denied that his proximity to the BJP leadership in Rajasthan enabled him to introduce a controversial Sports Act in 2005 and become the president of the RCA for the first time. For a buoyant Modi, happy days are here again.