Kolkata, May 30 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday joined the CPI-M in asking why the West Bengal government gave a rousing reception to private corporate team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after it won the fifth season of the IPL tournament.
“It was inappropriate for the government to spend so many lakhs of rupees of public money over a cricket club especially when the state is facing a financial crisis,” West Bengal Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya told reporters here.
Earlier, the Communist Party of India-Marxist criticised the alleged financial discrepancies that have marred the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“Lakhs of rupees have been spent by the state government to felicitate KKR,” said an editorial in Ganashakti, the CPI-M mouthpiece.
“The Trinamool Congress has carried out a political campaign in the name of felicitation. Team owner Shah Rukh Khan received more limelight than the players,” it said.
“Is the victory of KKR in true sense an achievement for Bengal? Does genuine cricket have a place in IPL?
“IPL is full of scandals. In 2009, IPL was taken away to South Africa by Lalit Modi. Most matches in South Africa were (allegedly) fixed. At that time without the permission of the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), there were monetary transactions of Rs.243 crore,” it said.
The paper said both IPL and BCCI had been served 190 notices by the Enforcement Directorate and the BCCI was yet to pay Rs.1,077 crore as income tax to the government.
“Shashi Tharoor lost his ministry because of financial discrepancies in IPL. The financial irregularities of Lalit Modi have already come out in the open. Then the question is why (did) the state government give recognition to such a tournament which is marred by controversies?”
Kolkata virtually came to a standstill Tuesday to watch KKR’s victory parade culminating in a gala felicitation.