Sunanda Pushkar aid of Sashi Tharoor holds 18% Kochi IPL Team

Modi tweet bares Tharoor’s IPL interest
New Delhi, Apr 12, DHNS:
The saga of new IPL franchise Kochi’s consortium turned murkier on Monday with popular league commissioner Lalit Modi tweeting the details of stake holders of the new team and the little known company threatening to sue him.
Modi, who seemed critical of Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor in his tweets, disclosed the ownership structure of the Rendezvous Sports World which coughed up $333.33 million (about Rs 1,533 crore) to bag the Kochi franchise.According to Modi, the free equity holders include Kisan Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulati, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal. Pushkar, whom media reports have said Tharoor proposes to marry, is trained as a beautician and runs a spa.

Modi wrote: “A lot of you asking shareholders and events surrounding the Kochi team. I am compiling a note shortly and will put an official release soon” and indicated there was pressure on him not to reveal the details of who all own Rendezvous.

“I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?” Modi wrote. Providing details, the IPL boss said: “Kochi shareholders are: Rendezvous 25 per cent free, Rendezvous 1 pc, Anchor 27 pv, Parinee 26 pc, Film Waves combine 12 pc, Anand Shyam 8 pc, Vivek Venugopal 1 pc,” Modi tweeted.

Till late on Monday, Tharoor, known for his Twitter comments, chose to remain silent. The minister had played an instrumental role in galvanising the Kochi consortium, insisting all along that he had no financial stake in it.

He had merely stated that he had given encouragement, offered blessings and expert advise to the bidders. “I am not even sure whether I know all of them, nor do I have any knowledge of the decision that how much they were going to bid. I know this Rendezvous Sports World and had met the Gaekwad brothers,” Tharoor said in a Tweet.

Latest reports said the Kochi team has threatened legal action against Modi and Rendezvous Sports accused him of breaching a confidentiality agreement by revealing the names of the stakeholders. The Kochi franchise reportedly wants Modi to disclose the stake-holding pattern in other franchises.

RSW sources claimed that Modi was interested in having Ahmedabad as one of the franchises for the subsequent IPL seasons and was therefore creating problems for Kochi.

The Parable Of The Vamp


imageAMIDST THE immense noise of the IPL controversy, away from public view, a woman has been confronted with a deeply personal crisis: she can no longer recognise herself. A massive juggernaut has rolled over her, crushed her out of shape, and moved on without a backward glance. She has been left to cope with the painful out-of-body experience of watching the mangled remains of who she used to be. Left to muse, in private bewilderment, why her image and the person she knew herself to be no longer matched.

Sunanda Pushkar, the woman in the tableau, was not hit by some unheeding truck. She was hit by the media. As Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, the doctor parents of the slain Aarushi, know only too well, this is not the first time it’s happened. In its feeding frenzy for 24 /7 excitement, the media has developed a curious way of turning fathers into murderers; women into vamps. Facts, evidence, the line between public and private — all the good, old-fashioned gears of journalism no longer have any place. Rash allegations are enough. The rear-view mirrors are gone. You can now recklessly ride over people and not look back.

Over the last two weeks then, every real and fictitious fragment of Pushkar’s life has been dragged onto airwaves and newsprint: Men she has and has not married; men she has and has not slept with; money she has and has not made; jobs she has and has not done. People have spoken with dripping scorn about her “eye-popping life”, her “insatiable ambition”, her work with “starlets and bimbos”, her “vampire-like thirst” and her “Louis Vuitton victimhood”. They have dissected her diaphanous saris and conjured clingy ones she’s never worn. The general consensus has been: She isn’t enough a girl’s girl. And for this transgression, she had to be crushed. So, overnight, Sunanda Pushkar was transformed from a living, breathing woman with a history of her own into a “proxy bimbette”.

What did Pushkar do to merit this public mauling? The reasons trotted out are that Pushkar is romantically involved with former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor and has therefore been given disproportionate sweat equity worth Rs 70 crore in the Kochi cricket team he helped put together. One can debate the finer points of propriety about Pushkar having equity, independently or otherwise, in a project Tharoor was closely associated with. Prima facie, it appears there was absolutely no exchange of money. Nor was there any misuse of public funds. In a world of brazen corruption then, this could only count as a minor lapse in manners. The curious thing is, the uproar over the sweat equity itself seemed misplaced. With the same reckless disregard for fact, everyone has forgotten that the offending Rs 70 crore does not exist as yet. Sweat equity is risky: There are no payments upfront. If the going is good, you take the ride; if not, there’s nothing.


I’m proud of bringing up my son all by myself’


So, the truth is, the reasons Pushkar has been pilloried lie elsewhere. Imagine for a moment that instead of Pushkar some nephew of Tharoor had been given sweat equity. Would the media have ferreted out every last detail about his girlfriends and colour of bedsheet — imagined or real? Pushkar says the last fortnight has been akin to a medieval witch hunt. She is right. A deep and unthinking misogyny has underscored all the reporting on her. Her real crime is that she is an attractive 46-year old widow, who is bright, vivacious and hot — in the way only those women can be, who have a comfortable relationship with themselves; who understand that beauty does not preclude one from being kind; or protect one from sorrow. If the media had wanted to try the two for financial impropriety, it should have stuck to doing that. Instead, all of it has become an ugly spectacle about a society trying to decide what women are allowed and not allowed to be. Ambition, sass, and self-assured sexiness are clearly high on the list of India’s penal code for women. This is why Pushkar has been asked by “well-wishers” to stay out of view. This is why she’s in the process of being tamed for Indian public life. The story of how Sunanda Pushkar has been treated then is not the story of just one woman: it is a parable about the society we are.

There are so many versions of your life floating in the media, would you like to put the facts on record first.
I don’t really want to. My son and parents have already suffered enough on this. How many times I got married, who I dated — what does any of that have to do with the IPL?

Sunanda Pushkar with her now deceased second husband Sujit Menon, her father and uncles in Jammu.

That’s true, but unfortunately the absence of facts has allowed everyone to maul your image. There’ve been reports that you divorced your first husband Sanjay Raina because you fell in love with his friend Sujit Menon. Also that Sujit committed suicide because he was in financial trouble. Even if all this were true, it still wouldn’t make you a bad person, but the key thing is to establish how much is truth, how much fiction.
(Sighs) You are right. It’s probably important to set the record straight. My first marriage was a very dark period in my life. Everyone’s saying Sanjay Raina divorced me, but that’s not true, I divorced him. It was a very painful relationship but I don’t want to go into that. It’s over; he’s moved on, I’ve moved on. I was 19 when I met him and very innocent. My dad was in the army and I had a very protected childhood. I was always sorry for the underdog. My family and friends used to teasingly call me Mother Teresa. I was helping flood victims in Ambala in grade six. When I was in Jesus and Mary Convent, I used to work with abandoned and physically challenged children at an ashram. There was a blind and spastic kid there who was particularly attached to me. No one wanted him because he wasn’t very nice looking, but I used to bathe and feed him. Curiously, many people spoke badly of Sanjay, saying he was strange. Maybe in the beginning that is what drew me more to him.

But the marriage was a big mistake. I was totally unprepared for the worst. ‘The media said, why should the Kochi team pick me? As a woman am I not good enough?’ Soon after we got engaged I told my father I wanted to break it off. I had realised Sanjay and I were very mismatched but my father wouldn’t listen. For Kashmiri Pandits, if you got engaged, you had to marry; we’d never had a broken marriage in the family. Mine fell apart within days. I had a really tough time getting a divorce in Delhi. It was a very lonely time. My parents didn’t want me to divorce even though they knew what was going on. Looking back, I understand them now, but I felt very abandoned then.

The truth is Sujit rescued me. He gave me the strength, as a friend, to quit a very painful marriage. But he was dating another woman; I was just a friend. I got my divorce in 1988 and went off to Dubai in 1989. I married Sujit in 1991; my son Shivy was born in November 1992. If I had left Sanjay over Sujit, why would I have waited that long to marry him?

What about Sujit’s death? That has been turned into something very mysterious as well.

imageWith baby Shiv at home in Dubai

Yes, my son has had a really rough time dealing with those reports. But my husband died in an accident in Karol Bagh in March 1997. I can show you the death certificate. I had a really harrowing time finding the body and had to go from morgue to morgue searching for it. Again, it was a very dark time. Sujit was a financial consultant and he had run into some financial trouble. I disagreed with many of his business decisions at the time and after his death I got several threatening calls from his creditors. But that was less important to me than the fact that after his death, Shivy suddenly stopped talking. It was very strange, he probably got scared. He was barely four. There was so much to do — papers and fresh visas to be sorted, debts to pay. So I left him with my sister-in-law and, later, my parents for a few months. I keep asking them, someone tell me what happened to him because when I went to pick up my son, he had stopped talking. I took him to Dubai but in those days there was no concept of speech therapy there. I began to look for the best affordable health care and that’s how I hit upon Canada. I moved there to help my son. I had been doing pretty well at work, but I didn’t have that much money to spare. I was supporting my parents, supporting my brother through engineering college, trying to pay off Sujit’s debts.

Why did you need to support your parents financially? Everyone says your family was very wealthy.
Yes, we were wealthy till the trouble began in Kashmir in 1989. We had orchards and a lot of land. But after ‘89, my family suffered like everyone else. Luckily, they were wealthy enough that they didn’t have to go live in a tent. But I did help them financially to find their feet again. They couldn’t afford to put their son through college — you know you have those donations and capitation fees. I did all that.

Part of the muck being thrown at you for having sweat equity in the Kochi team is that you don’t have professional standing that merits it, so you must be a front for Shashi Tharoor. How do you respond to this?
I cannot tell you how insulted I feel. I’ve been fiercely independent and self-reliant all my life. And I’ve always been proud that I have made it alone — on my own terms — in a man’s world. And here, in one minute, without bothering to find out any facts the media just turned me into a slut, into some kind of brainless eye candy! I don’t know why people find it so hard to understand this — I really don’t care about money in that grasping way. Yet, please don’t misunderstand me. I enjoy making money, I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman being ambitious. I like cars and watches but I don’t need any man to get anything for me. My kick is to buy it myself. I like to earn my own keep. I’d be very happy to set up home with a man I loved, but I would not marry a man just because he can buy me diamonds. I’m not judgmental about women who do that, I’m just saying I wouldn’t. So when people say I got into all this as a front for Shashi, chasing influence and money, it savages my soul. What else can I say?

The media has said, for Rs 70 crore, the Kochi team could have hired any foreign marketing firm, why would they pick me? Forget that no one in India seems to have understood the basics about sweat equity — there is simply no 70 crore on the table, in fact not one paisa has changed hands so far, and there will be no profits for years to pay anybody — but what is this attitude? As a woman I am not good enough? Some foreigner can do better than an Indian? And we call ourselves a superpower? Is this 21st century India or the British Raj?

With her father at her wedding to Sujit at the Shiva temple in Kochi,Kerala

Could you then run us through your career graph a bit ?
When I came to Dubai for the first time I worked in tourism. I had ideas about dhow cruises and dune dinners — much before Emirates Holidays even existed. Our accounts included Philippines airlines, Romanian airlines, Brazilian airlines — so I had lots of corporate clients. After I married Sujit, I got into events. Someone reported that all my shows made losses. That hurt. Sujit and I did only one event together which went badly — a Mammooty show which people have been writing all kinds of nonsense about. But apart from that I don’t think I did any events that made a loss.

I started my own company called Expressions with four or five people. We began to do many model shows for product launches. Everyone does it now, but it was a complete trendsetter then. I did 13 shows with Hemant Trivedi, shows with Rhea Pillai, Vikram Phadnis, Aishwarya Rai. When the Gulf War started, we did big fund raisers for the ‘We love Kuwait’ campaign.

After a while I got a great offer from an ad agency called Bozell Prime. I handled many big campaigns for them — Wella, Hersheys, Chrysler cars. I did big multi-million dollar events for Modern Pharmaceuticals. That was the most beautiful time of my life. But after Sujit died, I gave up Bozell for Shivy. I didn’t want a baby-sitter. He had gone into a complete shell and I was frightened for him and wanted to be there for him. So that last year in Dubai before I went to Canada, I worked with Ravissant.

In Canada, I had to start from scratch. I’d literally gone there with a suitcase and my child. But you know, Shoma, I have never taken my resume and looked for a job.I have always felt I can carve a niche for myself on my own terms. I’ve always been an entrepreneur that way. So for a while, I did many odds and ends. Then some friends in New York — two doctors who are still among my closest family friends — suggested I get into the IT sector which had just begun to boom. Everyone was looking for computer engineers from India, so we tied up with companies like Compaq and head-hunted in India for them.

After a while a friend in San Francisco alerted me that a company called Valley Resources wanted a partner. I told them I had no money to invest but they still wanted me. So, talk about sweat equity — (laughs) — that was my first sweat equity! It was a lot of fun and we did mighty well and made good money. I put Shivy in a private school; I bought ourselves a house; I got a BMW. And I did all this from the basement of my house. And through all that, I never used babysitters. I’m proud of bringing up my son by myself. Many of my friends across the world who knew me at that time are really disheartened and outraged by the way I am being portrayed in the media.

The press has been saying you are a beautician, a spa-owner, a mystery woman from Dubai — where did they get all that from?
Can you imagine! I have no idea where they got it! These reports were meant to deride me. I don’t even feel there’s anything derogatory about being a beautician — it’s just that it’s completely not true! I ran a small jewellery shop for a while, but while they were trying to ferret fictitious details about my life, they didn’t even come across that!

You know, all through my life, at different phases, things have fallen apart and each time I have just picked myself up and put the pieces back. I am a very positive person: I always say, this too shall pass. I am a great believer in Shiva and the idea of karma, so I never question and complain and ask why is this happening to me. I always tell myself that things happen to you so that you can learn from it. But this has been the biggest test I have ever faced.

We’ll come back to the way the press has reported on you and what impact that’s had on you; and what it says about attitudes to women in India. But, first, could you finish telling us about your professional life.
Just as our IT business was booming, 9/11 happened. This hit us bad and we had to shut shop. There was four months of anxiety and no work. We were cleaned out financially. That’s when I got into Emotional Intelligence. It was the latest thing in Canada those days. I did a course and joined a company called Noble House International. We started something called Human Potential Reengineering. [sighs] We did lots of programmes for banks like Royal Bank of Canada and ABN Amro in Miami, Amsterdam and Geneva. It was fun but I was not earning enough.

‘The film Corporate disgusted me. Must a woman sleep around to get business?’

Then in 2004, Best Homes offered to send me to Dubai to set up their operations there in real estate. If I think about it, real estate runs in my blood. More than buying and selling, I love developing properties. I love the blueprint stage, the planning and the zoning. So I came back to Dubai in August 2004 as general manager of Best Homes and worked on a big project with them.

Pushkar celebrating Diwali with her son and friends in Toronto,Canada in 2003.

Dubai had changed completely. My friends had all become rich and powerful; there was a completely different buzz. But Shivy was not very happy and I was just planning to go back to Canada and start again, when I was offered a job by Mohamad-bin-Ghalib of Tecom to work on an International Media Production Free Zone. This was one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever worked on. We had to plan publishing zones, convention centres, hotels, schools and hospitals over 44 million square feet of land. Then I was offered a position that the company usually only gives to locals — I had to sell land to Gulf nationals. Everyone thought I’d fail because I didn’t know Arabic. But as one of my bosses said about me, “She can sell sand to the Arabs and ice to the Eskimos!”

Were you a sales manager there? Some press reports have been saying that you actually live — to use their words — in a ‘low-class ghetto’ in Dubai and that Shashi was a leg up for you socially and financially. How would you speak of yourself? As middle- class, well-to-do, very well-to-do?
I think I’m pretty well to do. I drive a Range Rover. My son has a driver and a Ford. I live in a decent apartment because I don’t want to live in a villa and have the headache of a garden and stuff because there’s just the two of us. I have a cook and a domestic help. I own two 3-bedroom apartments in Jumeirah Palm. I also own a beachside apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residence, and I have two apartments in Executive Towers. I only live in this rented apartment because it’s close to Shivy’s school and his friends live around here. I also have my house in Canada and some land in Jammu. So I’m pretty alright, I think. I’m pretty alright. [laughs]

That’s an understatement.
Yeah, I guess, I’m okay. The part I feel really good about is that I’ve done it all on my own. The only thing they’ve got right about me is that I was a sales manager at Tecom. What they don’t get is that this suited my entrepreneurial spirit just fine because it allowed me to get a commission over my salary.

Of all the kite flying about you in the media then, what aspect has really upset you the most? Oh God, I can so tell you that! It’s been like a medieval witch hunt! It’s been so misogynistic. The bizarre part is, I think it’s not even just to do with my being a woman, it’s to do with my being an attractive woman. That’s what makes it even more disgusting. That’s what really makes me sick to the core of my being. That, to so many people in this society, if you are attractive you are immediately deemed to be a loose woman.

‘Why are they accusing me of being a proxy for Shashi? Can’t I make my own money?’

What have they not said about me! I am supposed to be married to some automobile businessman in Delhi; my second husband is supposed to have committed suicide; I am supposed to have slept with god knows how many men, and I am supposed to be a tart.

I have always prioritised Shivy because he is the most important thing in my life and I have always been proud that I had made it alone, on my own terms, in a man’s world, and in one minute, without checking on any facts, they have just reduced me to a slut. Just because I am an attractive working woman in a man’s world.

Sunanda Pushkar with the UAE’s Minister for Foreign Trade Sheikh Lubna Al Qasimi

All my women friends in Dubai — women from all across the world, Serbia, England, America, Canada — are so upset. They are furious! As one of them said, we thought India is going to be a world power, but how can they be when their attitudes to women are so warped!

I have realised that women have made some inroads into politics in India, but in business? God forbid, you want to be feminine and wear nice saris or dresses into a boardroom — that’s totally not allowed. I saw a Hindi film called Corporate — it disgusted me. A woman must sleep around with someone to get business, she can’t get it otherwise? She must utilise her body and only then her brain will function. Suddenly — boom! — her brain is functioning because men are sleeping with her!

I have a wonderful, grown-up son — a son who says that whenever he thinks of duty and integrity and honesty, he thinks of his mother. I want to ask all these people in the media, if I was sleeping around, when did I have the time to bring up my child?

Do you know that there was a report that said I went to Jitin Prasada’s wedding wearing a bright-red, clingy, seethrough sari with a low cut blouse and some socialite is supposed to have sniggered that this was just not the “Congress code”. I wasn’t even in Delhi for Jitin’s wedding. I went to his reception huddled inside a black sari and shawl because I was so cold. How much can the media lie?

There’s another thing I want to clarify. They are saying I have given up my shares to save Shashi Tharoor. Now, I’m not even supposed to have that much agency of my own! I DID NOT give it up for Shashi Tharoor. I gave it up for exactly the reason that I said in my statement: I have no enthusiasm to work on this anymore. You tell me, Shoma, after all that has happened would you have the enthusiasm to work with the IPL? I might still do stuff for them, as I said, because I love Kerala — but how can they turn around and crucify me for something I am giving up in disgust? One BJP man said that the fact I am giving it up is further proof of my corruption. I mean how much more perverse and bewildering can things get? And now I have someone impersonating me on Facebook when I don’t have either a Twitter or Facebook account!

One of my bosses said about me, ‘She can sell sand to the Arabs and ice to the Eskimos!’

I have to say the conjecturing about you has been shameful.
(Starting to cry) I have always thought of myself as a kind, proud, honest and ethical person. I can’t recognise what they have turned me into publicly. In my family, everyone calls me ‘Didi’ — even my father — because I am the person everyone turns to for help. I was always the ‘boy’ in the family. I never even had a doll as a child. So even now, though this is my worst fall, I am not asking why all of this has happened to me. I am sure there is a larger lesson to be learnt and I am sure I am going to grow from this. And mark my words, I will grow, I will come out of this a bigger and better person. I can feel it in my bones. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes in my life; I’m just a regular human being. But I keep telling myself, I must be a good person because, god knows, I have brought up a good child.

Let’s talk about Shashi Tharoor and the IPL. How did you meet? How did the IPL thing come about? What is the sweat equity everyone is in a tizzy about?
imageShashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar at a New Delhi book launch in March. GETTY IMAGES

I don’t really want to talk about Shashi because everything I say will have some repercussion for him. He is a public figure, I am not. But I met him about two years ago through a friend called Sunny Varkey, and we got along immediately. We are certainly close now, but that closeness only developed less than five months ago. I am very proud to know him because, most of all, he is a good and honest man.

As far as the IPL goes, again the media has twisted my words. I have known Karim and Ali Murani since 1998, since we were all in the events business. Over the years they have become close friends. When they took on KKR, I was generally throwing ideas at them about how they should market and package the team. Ali liked my ideas enough to ask me to come down to Bombay to discuss working for them — the Muranis, not KKR itself. The conversation was serious enough for me to fly down to Mumbai, but Shivy was still in school so we all just let it slide. But that’s how I first got to know about the IPL.

As far as the sweat equity for the Kochi team goes, I am genuinely bewildered by the allegations of corruption. I did agree to offer my skills as a marketing consultant. I have a knack for it. I also helped them raise a lot of money. But there’s been absolutely no exchange of money between us. I don’t even have the shares. It’s more like a promissory note with absolutely no guarantee that the shares will amount to anything. People are calling me and saying why did you give up the Rs 70 crore? What Rs 70 crore? It’s not there! I haven’t earned it as yet, there’s no surety I ever will. People have been throwing up fantastical numbers — what no one seems to understand is that all of it is notional. I am told Mumbai Indians made a loss of 40 odd crore last season, so there’s a huge risk involved. There’s no money upfront.

And again, why are they accusing me of being a proxy for Shashi? That’s so insulting. Can’t I make my own money? He has not been corrupt for so many years — for which I am proud to be his friend — why would he be corrupt now? Just look around you in India and see the corruption — in government, in industry, in every crevice of public life and they call this corruption! Indians couldn’t handle a man who is not corrupt so you tainted him and literally made him look corrupt so that he had to leave government and not embarrass his party! [laughs]

CALM BEFORE THE STORM Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar

My faith in India is so shaken. Shashi and others keep telling me not to say this, but I don’t know Shoma — why shouldn’t I say it? I am shocked at the way events unfurled. It had no basis in truth. There was no intention of even getting to the truth. Why has the media taken this beyond the realm of reality. I can’t understand it!

There were three people in politics that really created hope for millions of Indians across the world that even clean men can join politics — Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor. I know that when Shashi entered politics, many Indians felt, oh, if he can, even we can. Otherwise Indian politics was always thought of as such a dirty game. But Shashi has been hounded out for now — ironically — for not being dirty enough. In just the cricket scene I know how much corruption is floating about, but the big powerful men will get away, and Shashi has been made a sacrifice. Was Shashi given a fair hearing? The media made sure he couldn’t get one. As I said, it was a medieval witch hunt in every way.


New Delhi, April 15, 2010: The Kochi conundrum turned more confounding on Wednesday after Shailendra Gaikwad, CEO, Rendezvous Sports World, charged Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi with offering him a $50 million bribe to withdraw the franchise.

“Modi was upset when Rendezvous Sports World won the bid for the Kochi team. After we won, Modi offered us a $50 million bribe to back out,” Gaikwad said, adding that the motive behind maligning Shashi Tharoor was to get him out of office, which could have scared away investors, leading to a total collapse of the Kochi consortium.

“Since we are due to give only Rs150 crore to the IPL for the team this year, Sunanda’s share comes to less than Rs4 crore, which is not much considering the amount of effort she is expected to put in,” Gaikwad said. “Sunanda is expected to get us good branding, franshise and advertisements. The equity is in lieu of her salary, an arrangement proposed by her.”  According to a rough calculation, she is expected to bring the franchise business worth Rs20-30 crore in the first year itself and is unlikely to get any returns for the first three years.

“This is not free equity. Our company doesn’t have the money, so soft shares were offered. Our partnerships and stakes are all transparent and all documents have been provided as asked by the IPL,” said Gaikwad. Rendezvous Sports alleged that Modi had put Gaikwad in an uncomfortable position by asking personal details of Pushkar instead of going into her professional details.

“At 12:30 in the night, Modi asks me who is Sunanda? How did I meet her? When did I meet her? And all other details that I do not need to describe but can be understood. This despite the fact that all details about Sunanda, her PAN card, passport number, bank details and relevant papers were attached in the file submitted before bidding. Why did Sunanda draw so much attention in the list and not other women?” Gaikwad wondered.

While Sunanda has reportedly clarified to a news agency that she is “not a proxy for Tharoor”, another member, Mumbai-based Pooja Gulati, also issued a statement that her husband Sushen Jhingan, a senior executive with a multinational bank, had no role to play in Team Kochi. Gulati, who has been assigned to handle branding and the media as a director for the company, said: “I am an independent businesswoman and my husband has nothing to do with this.” Meanwhile, it is learnt that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked defence minister AK Antony to investigate Tharoor’s role in the episode.

Sunanda clarifies but doubts exists? SUNANDA Pushkar, the woman whose “free equity” in the Kochi IPL franchise triggered the political storm over Shashi Tharoor, claimed in an interview with the Indo- Asian News Service on Wednesday that she’s a woman with her “own business interests” and “substantial” assets. Her grandstanding, though, has raised more questions than she may have bargained for. She’s from a middle-class family that doesn’t have important connections. Her father, a retired Lt- Colonel, and his four brothers owned agricultural land and orchards, which they sold when the rise of militancy in Sopore made them abandon their village, Bomai, for the safer sanctuary of Jammu.

And she has been holding mid-level positions in a string of companies. At present, she’s a sales manager with TECOM, a subsidiary of Dubai Holdings that is investing in commercial real estate in the knowledge sector. Pushkar’s regular career graph, in normal circumstances, would not have qualified her for an invitation from Rendezvous Sports World, the business consortium behind the Kochi IPL team bid, to “associate myself with them as a consultant in their various sporting activities and particularly in their potential bid to acquire the franchise.” What did Rendezvous expect a midlevel business executive based in Dubai to bring to the table?

Gabriella Demetriades3Gabriella Demetriades

What interest Sasi has  in Gabriella Demetriades? The mysterious link of Gabriella Demetriades also surprises many, but in cricket gambling, it is all routine things. Remember that some bollyhood actress begot a child through Richards!  April 15, 2010 – South African model Gabriella Demetriades was one of the hottest Miss Bollywood IPL 2009 contestants. Gabriella has been listed in the ‘FHM 100 Sexiest Women In The World’ nominee and there is no doubt she’ll be crowned Miss Bollywood title during the closing ceremony of IPL 2009 in Johannesburg. After an year Why Gabriella Demetriades’s name became the Hot News?  The story is here, IPL Comissioner Lalit Modi had approached Mr.Sashi Tharoor and requested him not to issue visa to Gabriella Demetriades. Sashi Tharoor went on to issue visa to Miss Gabriella Demetriades despite her passport not having 6 months validity left at the time of application. So, Why Lalit Modi asked Tharoor to decline her VISA! Media asked him the reason and he simply said “No Comments”.

Dubai connection: Sources based in Dubai say Pushkar owns an apartment in an Indian ghetto in Al Karama, the most densely populated part of the Emirate, which is famous for shops selling rip-offs. It is also the neighbourhood where Sharad Shetty, who looked after Dawood Ibrahim’s betting and drug smuggling business, was shot 20 times, allegedly by Chhota Rajan’s hitmen, at the popular India Club in 2003. This isn’t the kind of address you’d normally associate with a person who is given “free equity” worth Rs 75 crore in lieu of assisting Rendezvous “in the areas of fund-raising and networking”. She wasn’t representing TECOM, so what were the Rendezvous promoters seeking from her? The consortium could have hired the services of a professional public relations company for much less money. According to the chatter in Dubai’s high society, Pushkar and Tharoor were introduced to each other by Sunny Varkey, a Padma Shri awardee and founder-chairman of GEMS Education, the Emirate’s largest operator of schools.

Perhaps, these deals are above Islam: Pushkar, despite her mid-level management position, is a familiar figure on the cocktail circuit and Dubai Fashion Week, and she’s popular in this set as ‘Sue’. She features quite regularly on, a Dubai-based website that dishes out fashion and celebrity news. Even her Facebook profile picture is from a party covered by In that photo, she is posing with Delhi’s Bal Bharati Air Force School alumnus Sachin Singal, a top honcho at the Channel 2 media group. The occasion was a pre-Christmas party thrown by Padma and Richard Coram, who are the owners of the entertainment and events company, The Talent Brokers. She’s the Dubai equivalent of a Page 3 person, but does that alone qualify her for the largesse handed out to her by Rendezvous? “I should stress that I have accepted no salary or expenses and am conscious that the equity remains only on paper for the foreseeable future,” Pushkar says. But Rs 75 crore, even if it’s a promise, seems a bit too much for the services that any PR or event management company can render at a fraction of that amount.

Yes Boss ? WHEN Shashi Tharoor’s officer of special duty (OSD), Jacob Joseph, declared that the minister had got a death threat from the Dawood Ibrahim gang, the spotlight was back on the 29-year-old who’s as Twitter-happy as his boss and has the reputation of being a motormouth. He is also seen at a respectable distance from Tharoor , who went to the same college as him, St Stephen’s,whenever he is with Sunanda Pushkar.

Jacob, who called IPL commissioner Lalit Modi a drug peddler, was present in Chennai last month during the bidding for the Kochi IPL team. His presence during the bidding process had raised eyebrows. Why was the OSD of the junior minister present at a purely commercial exercise where neither national interest, nor any constituency matter was at stake?  Speaking  Jacob said: “Tharoor is in this purely for the love of Kerala and the love of cricket.” Jacob had rubbished media reports suggesting an overseas connection in the bid — especially from the Gulf. “He is backing businessmen from Kerala, who are either based in the state or elsewhere in the country,” Joseph said. What he did not mention then was that the consortium that had the minister’s blessings — Rendezvous Sports World — consisted almost entirely of Gujarati businessmen based in Mumbai. And the only Kerala link — Vivek Venugopal of the Elite Group family — had a mere one per cent stake. A Tharoor loyalist who organised his Lok Sabha campaign in Thiruvananthapuram, Jacob has business interests in the Gulf (he owns a company that publishes trade magazines) and his wife lives in Dubai.

Modi interview  …..
There is a lot of heat on you because of the Rendezvous issue.
I don’t feel any heat. As commissioner of the IPL, I’m expected to be straightforward and neutral. I’ve discharged my duties in keeping with those principles. I did not favour anyone.

Why did you disclose the names of the Kochi team owners?
Because many people in the consortium itself were not aware of who owned the side.

Why did you not disclose the names of other franchises?
They are in public domain. If required, I will disclose them.

Some people have alleged that you have a stake in Rajasthan Royals.
I have nothing to hide. Many people have inquired into this and found nothing. Of all the teams, I’ve punished Royals the most. In the first year, I punished them for not spending enough on players. In the second, we sent back their key bowler Kamran Khan. This year we took action against Ravindra Jadeja. I’ve not shown any favouritism towards that team.

But your colleagues seem upset.
I don’t know about that. I will call a governing council meeting after the IPL is over and we will discuss everything. I will clarify any questions they have. This [chairmanship of IPL] is an honorary post that I’ve been holding for three years and I’ve worked without any selfish motives. I’ve brought in about Rs40,000 crore into the Board’s [BCCI’s] coffers. My achievements as an administrator speak for themselves.

Some have called you arrogant and a drug addict.
I’m used to hearing that. People are raking up things that happened 25 years ago. There is nothing to hide. I don’t run away from my past. I believe in performance and straightforwardness and if you interpret that as arrogance, so be it.

What about the franchise owners? Are they supporting you?
Why don’t you find that out? People like Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, Shah Rukh Khan, Bomidala (Srinivas), Ness Wadia, Preity, Juhi (Chawla) and Jay (Mehta) have taken the plunge [put money in IPL] because they trust my word. I’m happy that we have delivered a world-class league for investors and the public. Nine out of 10 franchises are with me.

What about the governing council meeting? Do you fear for your position?
I don’t. As I said, this is an honorary post and I have given all my time and energy to it. I sincerely think I have done my best. If some people think differently, so be it. I have no issues. I don’t fear for my position at all.

Modi son-in law  Intrests
Global Cricket Ventures (GCV), which has bagged digital and mobile rights for the IPL and the Champions Trophy until 2017, is linked to the son-in-law of IPL chairman Lalit Modi, Gaurav Burman, raising questions about the business interests of Modi’s relatives in IPL, now a Rs 15,000-crore commercial empire.

Gaurav, the brother of Mohit Burman of Dabur, a co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, is a director in Elephant Capital Invests, a company which has put $10 million in GCV, to own 50% equity in this Mauritius-based company. GCV, an online media and broadcast company, was set up only last year and within a few months snapped up various cricket related digital rights.

The jewel in GCV’s portfolio is IPL for which it’s running its official website, disseminating online match information and putting up pictures, said sources in the Shashi Tharoor camp.

Gaurav Burman does not appear to be just another director of Elephant Capital an impression that Lalit Modi seeks to convey. When Elephant bought into GCV, the media release of November 19, 2009, mentioned only Burmans name as Elephants representative and gave his London phone number for further inquiries. “This investment gives Elephant Capital a stake in an exciting online and broadcast media business…We believe that with the continued success of T20 , the value of these rights will appreciate significantly.”

When contacted, Lalit Modi denied there was any conflict of interest. “The internet rights are with GCV,” he admitted. “But there is no direct link to prove that I have a vested interest in protecting my son-in-law’s interests. What can I do if my son-in-law is a director of a company?”

Apart from Gaurav and Mohit Burman, another Modi relative associated with the IPL is Suresh Chellaram, a Nigeria-based businessman who holds majority shares in Rajasthan Royals. Chellaram is Lalit Modi’s sister-in-laws husband. The Modi camp maintained that the involvement of these three Modi relatives in IPL was a coincidence. “They are all businessmen and they sensed a business opportunity in the IPL,” an associate of Modi said.

Sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the parent body said that while an agreement with GCV has indeed been reached, its key officials did not know that Modi’s son-in-law was a significant face behind GCV. On his part, Modi maintained that he had nothing to hide. “All IPL officials closely coordinate with the BCCI. I have nothing to hide,” he said.

Dawood THREAT  ?
Delhi Police, which is investigating the matter, is learnt to have zeroed in on Hari Nagar where a local number was used to send the SMS. The police is investigating a gym trainer employed with Constitution Club for SMSes sent to Rajya Sabha MPs Masood Madani and Brinda Karat on Tuesday; it suspects the same man may be involved in the Tharoor episode as well.

The SMS was direct if somewhat amateurish. “Lalit Modi se maafi mangne ko bol nahi to jaan se maar denge. IPL ke taar D company se hai (Tell Tharoor to apologize to Modi or else he will be killed. IPL is linked to D-company),” said the message signed by ‘Shakeel’. The police doubted any real link to the mafia but the minister’s security has been stepped up.

With Left on Wednesday joining BJP in demanding the minister’s resignation, Congress carefully considered the fallout as Parliament reconvenes on Thursday for the Budget Session. The matter came up at a meeting at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence in the morning and after the controversy dominated news through the day, Tharoor met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and defence minister A K Antony late in the evening. Congress bosses were clearly keen to assess how “defendable” his role is. In the US, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would first examine “all the facts” on his return before deciding on any action. In Delhi, Congress’s chief spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi was equally careful in echoing the same line. The party would also keep in mind reports that two NCP ministers – Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel – also reportedly tried to get the Kochi consortium to back off.

Modi told Tharoor’s office to deny visa to this model


Model Gabriella Demetriades. Asked why he wanted her visa blocked, Modi declined to comment.

They may be trading insults and allegations since last Sunday but Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor’s office and IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi were quite “friendly” until at least last January. So much so that the IPL czar is learnt to have asked Tharoor’s office to deny a visa to South African model Gabriella Demetriades, one of the contestants for Miss IPL Bollywood during IPL 2.

E-mails between Modi and the Minister’s office in January show that the model’s visa was due to expire in February 2010 and Modi wanted Tharoor’s office to ensure that her request for the visa’s renewal be turned down.

The Ministry didn’t oblige — and Demetriades did get a visa.

When asked why he wanted her visa blocked, Modi declined to comment.

Speaking to The Indian Express from Mumbai tonight, before she left for South Africa, Demetriades, 23, said that she had arrived in India in October last year on a six-month visa.

“I went back in December to renew my visa which was to expire in February. While in South Africa, I lost my passport. I managed to get a temporary passport and, subsequently, a visa from the Indian consulate in Durban in January and then traveled to India,” she said. “I am not associated with IPL 3 and was here only to do modeling assignments and some commercials.”

Asked whether Modi played any role in her visa request, she replied in the negative. Asked about her association with Modi, she said: “He is a friend, we met during last year’s IPL in South Africa.”

The e-mails reveal that Modi kept Tharoor’s office informed about Demetriades losing her passport and applying for a new one. Demetriades, in turn, kept Modi informed about the loss of her passport and her visa application.

Sunanda Pushkar, Sashi Tharoor friend has 18% equity in Kerala IPL Team: Modi

for more  details -

sunanda+pushkar.jpgSunanda Pushkar friend of union Sashi Tharoor holds 18% free equity in RendezvousSport Limited, Narendra Modi Tweeted “I was told not to get in not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?” IPL chairman Lalit Modi had tweeted on Twitter reports DNA

Lalit modi has named the stake holders in Kerala IPL team.

The complete list of partners of IPL Kerala team as per reports areRendezvous (25% free), Rendezvous (1% purchased), Anchor (27%), Parinee (26%), Film Waves (12%), Anand Shyam (8%) and Vivek Venugopal (1%). Rendezvous free equity is held by Kisan, Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulathi, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad, Sundip Agarwal.

Kochi franchise threatens to sue Lalit Modi over disclosure

PTI, Apr 12, 2010, 08.59pm IST

Lalit ModiNEW DELHI: Lalit Modi’s controversial tweets over the ownership structure of new IPL entrant Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) led to a virtual showdown with the Kochi franchise threatening to sue the IPL Commissioner for breaking the confidentiality terms.

Modi disclosed the names of the free equity holders in the little known RSW which coughed up approximately Rs 1533 crore to bag the Kochi franchise, a move which put Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor in a spot of bother as Sunanda Pushkar, the lady whom he is reportedly planning to marry, figured in the list.

Miffed by the disclosure, RSW threatened to send a legal notice to Modi and accused the IPL Commissioner of breaking the confidentiality terms. The Kochi franchise has also complained to BCCI president Shashank Manohar about Modi’s indiscretion.

Modi wrote on his Twitter page that the free equity holders in RSW include Kisan, Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulati, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal.

Media reports have said that Tharoor proposed to marry Sunanda Pushkar, a Kashmiri girl. Trained as a beautician, she runs a spa and has lived in Dubai.

“A lot of you asking shareholders and events surrounding the Kochi team. I am compiling a note shortly and will put an official release soon,” Modi wrote.

Modi hinted there was pressure on him not to reveal the details of who all owns Rendezvous.

“I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?” said Modi.

Modi’s tweets could land Tharoor in a fresh controversy as the union minister had vehemently claimed that he had no financial stake in the Kochi franchise.

“All I did on my part was to offer encouragement, blessings and expert advise when required to the bidders. Beyond that, I had no role to play. It’s a group of business people and I understand it’s a business decision,” Tharoor had said.

RSW reacted sharply to Modi and even disputed his claim that Sunanda had 18 per cent stake in the franchise.

According to sources, the Kochi franchise wants Modi to disclose the stake-holding pattern in other franchises like Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI Punjab.

RSW sources claimed that Modi was interested in having Ahmedabad as one of the franchises for the subsequent IPL seasons and was therefore creating problems for Kochi which emerged as the second highest bidder in the auction.

Kochi and Pune will be the two new teams from IPL 2011.

Who is Sunanda Pushkar? Shashi Tharoor Wife!

Indian Premier Leagueabettor Lalit Modi has appear the data of the stakeholders in the new Kochi aggregation which is to accompany the next year’s edition.The aggregation that was endure ages awash for Rs.1530 crore has Minister of Accompaniment for External Affairs ShashiTharoor’s abutting acquaintance SunandaPushkar owning 18 per cent chargeless equity.

Rendezvous Sports World, one of the ally in the consortium, has 25 per cent of the authorization for free; of this 18 per cent is

Sashi Tharoor and SunandaPushkar

accustomed to Sunanda and the antithesis is disconnected a part of three added Affair members.Modi in his tweets claims he was asked not to get into who owns the Rendezvous.

“I was told by him (Tharoor) not to get into who owns rendezvous. Specially SunandaPushkar. Why? The aforementioned has been minuted in my records,” he tweeted.Modi says he will anon be presenting a address on the affair to the IPL’s administering council.The Kochi authorization has absorbed all and assorted about the humans complex in affairs the team.Tharoor had emerged as a abruptness wellwisher of his accompaniment aggregation but has maintained that his role is belted to one that of “a mentor.”

The ownership papers of Kochi IPL team was inked on Saturday after the BCCI cleared the bank guarantee and other documents needed to support the $333.33 million (Rs1,480 crores) bid by the consortium.Sunanda Pushkarfriend of union Sashi Tharoor holds 18% free equity in RendezvousSport Limited, Lalit Modi Tweeted “I was told not to get in not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?” IPL chairman Lalit Modi had tweeted on Twitter reports.Another interesting mystery behind Kochi IPL team is that, Vivek Venugopal, the only consortium person from home ground owns about only one per cent of stakes.Lalit modi has named the stake holders in Kerala IPL team.

The complete list of partners of IPL Kerala team as per reports areRendezvous (25% free), Rendezvous (1% purchased), Anchor (27%), Parinee (26%), Film Waves (12%), Anand Shyam (8%) and Vivek Venugopal (1%). Rendezvous free equity is held by Kisan, Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulathi, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad, Sundip Agarwal.

1. Rendezvous 25% free,
2. Rendezvous 1%,
3. Anchor 27%,
4. Parinee 26%,
5. Film waves combine 12%,
6. Anand Shyam 8%,
7. Vivek venugopal 1%

Rendezvous free (25%) equity are held by Kisan, Shailender & Pushpa gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulathi, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal.

Tharoor and IPLIPL Chairman and Commissioner, has broken the confidentiality of the IPL contract by disclosing the ownership pattern of the Kochi IPL team. He tweeted that Sunanda Pushkar, would be wife of Shashi Tharoor,  is owning IPL Kochi franchise by holding 18%  free equity  and she is one among seven people holding Kochi IPL. By disclosing the ownership pattern, Modi brought two hidden facts in to the limelight, i.e, Tharoor’s link with IPL Kochi and why he did he suppress the fact that he is involved in it. Should we think that Tharoor is openly backing IPL Kochi?

tharoor and ipl link

One thing we should not forget that the brain behind bringing together the five-member consortium and which helped Kerala to have a team of its own was Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor insisted that he does not have financial interest in Kochi IPL franchise. Whether is involved financially or not, it will definitely take some time to prove the reality. If it is proved positive, he will definitely in more troubles because 18% of Rs 1530 crores (the sale price of Kochi team) is a huge amount.

After naming Sunanda, Modi tweets that he was asked not to check the background of the controversial buyers. “I was told by him not to get into who owns Rendezvous, especially Sunanda. Why?

What ever be the reality, is it fair enough on Modi’s side to disclose the confidentiality of the IPL contract? Will he be punished for his stupid act violating the agreement?

Tharoor on pitch, she enjoys game



April 12: She was first noticed two months ago at Congress minister Jitin Prasada’s wedding, with Shashi Tharoor’s arm thrown protectively around her.

Sunanda Pushkar wore “a red sari and a low-neck blouse”, a guest said, recalling in mirth that some people were a little “shocked”, considering “the Congress culture”.

Today, as her name surfaced as a stakeholder in the Kochi IPL franchise — amid suggestions that the army officer’s daughter from Jammu was engaged to India’s junior foreign minister — some Delhiites’ minds went back to a T20 match played here last month.

As business chamber Ficci took on the foreign ministry across 22 yards on March 7, Sunanda had kept cheering the 54-year-old Tharoor’s efforts with the bat. She had been introduced as Tharoor’s “friend from Canada”, a source who watched the game said.

“The ministry team needed 112 runs to win. Tharoor was keen to play and said he wanted a bat before the game was over. So he got one of the ministry guys to retire. He played well and his team won,” the source said.

“He (Tharoor) wasn’t satisfied. He insisted that we play a 10-over game and we did. His lady friend was clapping away… the ministry won both the matches.”

Sources said Sunanda, in her forties, had a 13-year-old son from her first husband and ran a spa in Dubai, where she also held an executive’s post with an infrastructure company owned by the emirate’s government.

Earlier, she had worked with an advertising firm called Buzell and a travel agency in Dubai, and even for an IT company in Toronto, in between trying her hand at event management, sources said.

But she had needed no reference to her wide range of interests — healthcare, cricket, travel, IT, advertising — to wow the guests at Prasada’s wedding on February 16.

“She entered the venue with Tharoor’s arm around her,” a guest recalled.

“People who normally wouldn’t walk up to the minister did so just to find out who she was. But neither Tharoor nor she enlightened them. She rarely spoke but succeeded in hogging the limelight. Tharoor looked at ease.”

Tharoor, back in Delhi today from his Guwahati trip, was silent on his Twitter account about the marriage speculation, choosing instead to tweet about his experiences in the Northeast.

His associates denied he had any marriage plans; perhaps understandably so since the minister is yet to be legally divorced from his second wife Christa Giles, a Canadian working with the UN.

“Shashi Tharoor is not getting married to anyone. He is a married man,” said Jacob Joseph, officer on special duty to the minister.

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor, a friend, too denied the marriage rumours but did hint about a woman in Tharoor’s life. “No, shashi tharoor is not getting married and the lady in his life is not a beautician, the press has got it wrong yet again,” his tweet said.

Sunanda’s friends in Dubai, New Delhi and elsewhere, who spoke to The Telegraph, said they had received text messages from her giving a probable date for her marriage with Tharoor, by when his divorce proceedings are expected to be complete.

They said that if a wedding at all was being planned — a note of caution has crept in after the IPL controversy — it could be held on June 26-27, coinciding with Sunanda’s birthday. The likely venue is New Delhi, they added.

Sunanda’s friends said she had married Sujit Menon, a dealer in fire-fighting equipment. The couple shifted to Dubai, where Sujit organised a Malayalam superstar’s “nite” that turned out to be a financial disaster for him.

A disillusioned Sujit returned home to Kerala alone and later met a tragic end in Delhi. Sunanda moved to Toronto for a while.

Tharoor has a Dubai link too. In 2007, he became chairman of the Dubai-based Afras Ventures. He gave up the post before contesting the polls.


Team Kochi in trouble over ‘secret partners’?

Indranil Basu, TNN, Apr 9, 2010, 12.39am IST

Team KochiNEW DELHI: IPL action off the field is often more dramatic and suspenseful than the matches themselves. That’s certainly how it’s turning out for the consortium of businessmen that bagged the Kochi franchise. Even before it could set about building a team, the franchisee ran into trouble with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which returned the agreement papers.

IPL sources claimed the Kochi franchisee reportedly gave 25% of its shareholding for life to some unknown entities, free of cost when it has itself bid almost Rs 1,500 crore to obtain the franchise. The sources told TOI the consortium has been asked to present its case and sign the agreement, mentioning all its partners, in Mumbai by Monday.

However, sources in the Kochi camp denied that any such transfer of stake had taken place. They also insisted that they would submit the agreement papers to BCCI on Friday itself.

IPL sources told TOI, ‘‘BCCI has been confidentially told that a minister, a former India captain and a cricketer who’s currently playing for India are also part of the consortium. Their names should also figure in the agreement document’’.

‘‘This free equity business will have to be investigated and that is why the Kochi team’s agreement has been returned. We hope the owners come clean on this. If there are seven partners or eight parties involved, let them come out in the open and sign the document. We have no problem,’’ a top BCCI official, who didn’t wish to be named, told TOI.

The CEO of the Kochi franchisee, Shailendra Gaikwad, denied any such differences with the board. ‘‘I am not aware of such an event,’’ he said.

However, other sources from the Kochi camp said that these were just ‘‘delaying tactics’’. ‘‘We have won the Kochi team fair and square and we are very serious about going ahead with it,’’ they said.


21 Responses to Sunanda Pushkar aid of Sashi Tharoor holds 1821 Kochi IPL Team

  1. XXX says:

    Narendra Modi(???) Tweeted

    • devapriyaji says:

      The message available in net provided. I understand it must be Lalit Modi

  2. Sean says:

    FYI, it is Lalit Modi and not Narendra Modi as reported on your blog.

    • devapriyaji says:

      The message available in net provided. I understand it must be Lalit Modi only

  3. devapriyaji says:

    Who is Sunanda Pushkar?


    New Delhi: All eyes may well be on minister of state for externalaffairs – Shashi Tharoor – for his complicity in the Rendezvousaffair. An affair which threatens to snowball into something that caneven derail the team’s very bid and future existence. Tharoor hasvehemently denied that he has any economic interest in the franchiseand clarified repeatedly that he only played mentor in architectingthe consortium. But what of the consortium itself? Who is RendezvousSports World? Modi is clear when he says that a central ministerexerted pressure on him not to reveal the name of the key beneficiaryof the free equity. The name in question – Sunanda Pushkar. A lady whois in the process of marrying Shashi Tharoor as media has let us knowon Monday. Ergo, the central minister can only be Tharoor himself.
    Who then is Sunanda Pushkar? She is sales manager with TecomInvestments in Dubai. What is Tecom Investments? After all free equityamounting to anything between 18 and 20 per cent is serious businessgiven that the size of the bid was a staggering $333.33 million (Rs1533 crore). Twenty per cent amounts to a sizeable Rs 306 crore.Nobody gives away stake amounting to $66 million to an individual.Unless the individual is holding these shares in proxy for someoneelse. One can only presume that Sunanda Pushkar who is marryingTharoor and is his companion these days in Delhi’s social circuit iseither holding these shares for Tharoor or Dubai Holdings which ownsTecom Investments. The fact that free equity totalling 25 per cent wasgiven to disparate individuals whose very antecedents were not knownthrows into stark relief the issue of transparency in IPL. Thatanything between 18 to 20 per cent of that 25 per cent was given toSunanda Pushkar compounds RSW’s problems. Modi has called it, but thisis certainly not the end of this unsavoury matter. Rendezvous claimsthat Modi is favouring Ahmedabad and Gautam Adani over Kochi. If oneexamines the shareholding pattern of Kochi, then there is no clarityon who has actually put in this humunguous amount of money. Does theamount forked out commensurate with the shareholding pattern revealedby Modi? Logic says only 75 per cent of the shareholders would havecoughed up $333.33 million, after all 25 per cent was given ‘free.’Whew, someone needs to tell us who is behind this venture?
    Tecom Investments, based in Dubai, is a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, aglobal company dedicated to knowledge and life-improving industries. Acreator of vibrant knowledge industry clusters, TECOM Investments iscurrently active in buoyant cutting-edge sectors like ICT, Media,Education, Life Sciences and Clean Technology. A recognized leader inthe global knowledge industry, TECOM Investments manages entities likeDubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Village, DubaiInternational Academic City, eHosting DataFort, International MediaProduction Zone, Dubai Outsource Zone, Dubai Studio City, DuBiotechand Enpark. TECOM Investments’ phenomenal growth also encompasseslocal and international joint venture interests like Empower, adistrict cooling service provider established as a joint venture withDubai Electricity and Water Authority, Emirates InternationalTelecommunications Limited, a joint venture with Dubai InvestmentGroup and SmartCity, a joint venture formed with SAMA Dubai to developand manage knowledge industry townships worldwide.Emirates International Telecommunications Limited holds stakes inTunisie Telecom and GO, telecommunication carriers in Tunisia andMalta respectively. SmartCity has already laid the foundations of aglobal network of knowledge driven clusters through agreements todevelop SmartCity Malta and SmartCity Kochi.
    Pushkar’s Linkedin profile states clearly that she is working withTecom since 2005 as sales manager. Rendezvous Sports World is nowgunning for Modi for breaching the confidentiality agreement.

  4. devapriyaji says:

    No breach of confidentiality: Modi
    Indranil Basu, TNN, Apr 13, 2010, 01.06am IST
    NEW DELHI: The IPL-Kochi franchise is threatening to drag Lalit Modi to court for revealing the identity of Rendezvous stake holders and their exact holdings in violation of the “confidentiality clause”.

    They also sought the intervention of BCCI chief Shashank Manohar by alleging infringement by the IPL commissioner. An unfazed Modi hit back by alleging that Tharoor had called him to request him not to take the lid off the stake holding pattern of Rendezvous Sports.

    In a letter to Modi, Manohar asked why such sensitive information was put up on a forum like Twitter.

    According to Modi, after the Kochi franchise agreement was signed late on Saturday, no one could provide satisfactory answers to his query on the exact composition of the consortium. Minutes later, according to Modi, Tharoor called to say Modi shouldn’t delve further into this matter. Tharoor was unavailable for comment when contacted by TOI.

    In an email to Manohar, a copy of which is in possession of TOI, Modi said, “I have minutes of what they said at the meeting. And in fact when I questioned who the shareholders were, they had no answer. In fact, they said they would revert back. Within minutes of me asking the same I got a call from Shashi Tharoor asking me not to ask about who these shareholders are.”

    He added in the mail, “You had mentioned that we should ignore who this owner is but our condition requires us to authenticate who they are. What I have put on Twitter is in no way breach of confidentiality as who the shareholders are we have always provided in the past and it is not a matter to hide. Further, it is the Kochi franchisee who has a lot to hide and as such have lied about who are the actual owners of the shares.”

    On Sunday, Modi had revealed the names of the Kochi shareholders on a social network site. He had also mentioned the name of Sunanda Pushkar, a Kashmiri beautician who has been romantically linked to Tharoor by news agencies. And Modi even wrote in his twitter account: “Who are the shareholders of Rendezvous? And why have they been given this 100s of million dollar bonanza?”

    TOI had reported on Friday that a former Indian captain and a current Indian cricketer are also part of the Kochi franchisee.

    Meanwhile, BCCI boss Manohar also blamed Modi for taking a lot of IPL decisions without consulting the governing council. “The BCCI is a body which functions in accordance with its constitution and doesn’t function through the media. The issue, if any, could have been discussed at the governing council meeting and that action on your part of raising it on Twitter is unbecoming of you as a chairman of the a sub-committee of the board. Your action is in serious breach of the confidentiality clause in the agreement,” Manohar wrote.

    He added: “Till date, you have made public statements about a lot of issues which were not even discussed in the meetings of the governing council when it is the governing council which has the authority to take decisions with regard to each and every issue related to IPL.”

    Modi’s reply was prompt. “I am happy to disclose all the facts at the next governing council meeting. As regard not raising it at the time of the tender – we didn’t have the foresight to go through the voluminous documents attached to verify each and every shareholder. As regard to many other things I have said on my Twitter account, they have actually not been any classified information. It’s factual and only something we have or would have put into the public domain.”

    Modi then signed off: “I have no intention of putting BCCI and IPL into disrepute. I have always gone out of my way to protect both the IPL and BCCI all the time. My track record is there for one and all to see.”

  5. Pingback: lalit modi twitter

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  7. Akash Sagar says:

    This is a perfect Thaali. Aall izz not well.

  8. Akash Sagar says:

    This is a perfect Thaali. Aall izz not well. This is Sashi Taroor’s Bofors. Tu jahan jahan chelega, tera saaya saath hooga. I can’t wait for Arun Jaitley’s cross examination of Taroor in parliament. Didn’t know mentoring was this lucrative to earn you 25% for expert advice. In Kaliyuga money matters and deals are done in the bed. The Congress Party should immediately expel the MoS for his unethical financial dealings. If not, all Indians will come to the firm conviction that politics is the last resort of scoundrels. After Sania, this is another Dubai connection gone bad. Anyway compliments are due to the MoS for reinforcing the adage “Kashmir to Kannyakumari, India is one.”

  9. devapriyaji says:

    Tharoor clarifies, denies pressurising Modi
    13 Apr 2010, 0959 hrs IST, AGENCIES
    Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, locked in a fresh controversy around the Kochi IPL team which he helped set up, on Tuesday (April 13) hit back at IPL boss Lalit Modi alleging he had made attempts to pressure the winning consortium to abandon their bid for the Kerala outfit. Tharoor also denied that he had told Modi not to ask details about owners of the consortium led by Rendezvous that bought the new franchisee.

    In a statement, the minister of state for external affairs trained his guns on the powerful cricket board official alleging that various attempts were made by Modi and others to pressure the members of the consortium to abandon their bid in favour of another city in a different state. According to reports, Ahmedabad was being mentioned as the other city.

    “I deny Mr Lalit Modi’s allegation that I called him during his meeting with investors in the Kochi consortium in Bangalore on Saturday night in order to press him not to question the composition of the consortium,” Tharoor said.

    Voicing his displeasure at the turn of events which saw him pitted against Lalit Modi, Tharoor also tweeted, “I have had enough.”

    “Rendezvous includes a number of people including many I have never met, and Sunanda Pushkar, whom I know well,” he said. Tharoor is reportedly planning to marry Sunanda. Rendezvous bough the franchise for the IPL Kochi team for 333 million dollars.

    Also, Tharoor’s aide on Tuesday (April 13) tweeted on Lalit Modi and the controversy. Jacob Joseph- Tharoor’s OSD has posted a news report link on Modi’s past drug offense in US. Before that he tweets on how Lalit Modi’s brother-in-law is co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, while Gaurav Burman, Modi’s step son-in-law is a co-owner of Punjab franchise.

    Meanwhile, Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna is holding a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath, where sources said that BCCI’s Media wing head Rajiv Shukla is also present. Sources said this ongoing Modi-Tharoor controversy is likely to come up in the meet.

    In his tweet yesterday, Modi had not only publicly disclosed the names of the owners of the consortium that bought the franchisee but had also alleged that he was told by Tharoor not to ask who these shareholders were.

    Tharoor said he was issuing the statement in a personal capacity to respond to the allegations made against him personally. He said Rendezvous bid successfully in an open and transparent process. “Their unexpected success upset the plans of a lot of powerful people, who had wanted the franchise to go elsewhere,” he added.

    “Mr Modi raised assorted objections to the bid documents but finally had no choice but to approve them, ” he said.

    Tharoor alleged that Modi’s extraordinary breach of all propriety in publicly raising issues relating to the composition of the consortium and himself personally is clearly an attempt to discredit the team and create reasons to disqualify it so that the franchise can be awarded elsewhere.

    The minister also emphatically said he did not intend to benefit in any way financially from his association with the
    Kochi team now or at a later stage.

    “My role in mentoring the consortium included several conversations with Mr Lalit Modi, who guided us through the process and presented himself as a trusted friend,” he said.

    A consortium led by Rendezvous was set up to bid for an IPL team, he said, adding, they approached him for help and guidance. “I steered them towards Kerala”.

    Tharoor said contemptible efforts have been made to drag in matters of personal life which “I do not intend to dignify by commenting on them.”

    The minister said he called Modi to ask why he was further delaying the approval of the franchise when all the legal requirements had been fulfilled. “Mr Modi had held up approval by the IPL of the franchisee agreement earlier in the day, by insisting on the reversal of a change in the document that he himself had earlier suggested. This change was made, the consortium members flew to Bangalore and met with Mr Modi after that nights IPL game for what they had been told would be a routine exercise.”

    “Instead they were submitted to a barrage of questions which led some to suspect that Mr Modi was seeking a further excuse to delay approval. This was the reason for my intervention with Mr Modi. Had he conducted himself in good faith throughout, no call would have been necessary.”

    On the question of his interests in the franchise, Tharoor said he was proud to have helped the consortium come to Kerala. “I have neither invested nor received a rupee for my mentorship of the team. Whatever my personal relationships with any of the consortium members,” he added.

    The “unethical” efforts that have been made by Modi and others to thwart the Kerala franchise which had been won fair and square in a transparent bidding process are disgraceful, he said.

    “It has been clear for some time that the real motive is to assign this IPL team elsewhere than Kerala. All of us in Kerala hope that the BCCI will not permit statements and activities which seek to discredit the Kerala team before it has even had a chance to prove its worth. The public attempts by Mr Modi to besmirch the consortium in fact bring the IPL itself into disrepute,” he said.

  10. devapriyaji says:

    Lalit Modi was a Drug User and Seller!
    June 11, 2008 by Ankit
    Filed under Tennis

    Now this one is inspired by Uncle J Rod’s list of narcotics anonymous, but the fact remains and some research has been done by me.
    This is what wikipedia has to say:
    Drug Possession

    Lalit Modi was charged and pleaded guilty to drug possession, assault and kidnapping case in 1985 while he was a student in Duke University, USA. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison and came back to India after being released on probation.
    In 2007 a PIL was filed in Mumbai High court challenging his position in BCCI on pretext of his criminal history. Though the court refused to unseat Modi, it asked the BCCI “to implement stringent regulatory measures so that those involved in criminal cases, not just illegal drugs but other serious charges have no place in administration”.
    But unsurprisingly BCCI paid no heed to the court’s advice
    Unsurprisingly is the keyword here, or the tag here as we say. Mr. Modi is the Brain behind the IPL. I was unaware of the drug charges else I would have dealt with him more strictly here.
    This was in 1985. He is 42 now, so he would have been 20 then. OMG, my age!!! Well, then maybe its allowed. NOT!

    • Sathyajith says:


      Shashi Tharoor showing replica of Cyrus Cylinder to filmmaker Cyrus Kar at the UN headquarters.
      [edit] With the United Nations
      In 1978, Tharoor began working for the United Nations, serving with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, whose Singapore office he headed during the boat people crisis at the record young age of 25. He was transferred as a senior official at the United Nations headquarters in New York in 1989, where, until late 1996, he was responsible for peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia.
      From January 1997 to July 1998, he was executive assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He was appointed director of communications and special projects in the office of the Secretary-General, and in January 2001, he was appointed by the Secretary-General as interim head of the Department of Public Information. On June 1, 2002, he was confirmed as the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information. In this capacity, he was responsible for the communication strategy, enhancing the image and effectiveness of the UN. In 2003, the Secretary-General appointed him to the additional responsibility of United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism.
      Tharoor’s was an exceptional UN career, rising as he did from the P-2 level to the highest possible rank of Under-Secretary-General in a mere 23 years. He was privileged to play a key role in some of the major events of his time, from the Vietnamese boat people crisis to the Yugoslav Civil Wars, to serve in both the humanitarian and peace-keeping arenas as well as in the Secretary-General’s office.[4] He established a reputation at the Department of Public Information as a reformer[5] and as the UN’s most articulate voice for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the work of multilateralism in an increasingly unipolar world.[6] He took a number of initiatives, ranging from organizing and conducting[7] the first-ever UN seminar on anti-Semitism and also the first-ever UN seminar on Islamophobia[4] to launching an annual list[8] of “Ten Under-Reported Stories the World Ought to Know About”.[9]
      Tharoor resigned from the post of Under Secretary General on February 9, 2007 and left the UN effective 1 April 2007.

    • Sathyajith says:

      A criminal offence does not become legal even after 100 years. A CRIMINAL IS ALWAYS A CRIMINAL. MODI’S RELATIVES OWN RR & PUNJAB

  11. bhattathiri says:

    Sunanda Pushkar is able to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together – equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management

  12. Thanks for writing the detailed story on this. We will get to know who is at fault soon.

  13. karen says:

    i think mr tharoors choice is presntly going from bad to worse. dont get lost in the dirty politics of india.

  14. Rudy Arifin says:
  15. Proxy List says:

    Nice article,keep up good work.

  16. When the NSUI anchor invited Shashi Tharoor to speak after mentioning, among other things his academic feat of achieving a PhD degree at 22, the house clapped for a full 18 seconds welcoming him and an overwhelmed Tharoor started his speech with a ‘Thank you’ in his strong, baritone voice: “Positive energy is all here; you are fantastic to be with!”

  17. Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible post.

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