States cite poll security,IPL may need to re-re-jig dates

Organisers of the Indian Premier League will have to relook at their schedule after the Union Home Ministry said today...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:March 14, 2009 1:00 am

Organisers of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will have to relook at their schedule after the Union Home Ministry said today that “it may not be feasible to hold the matches as per the revised schedule” submitted to them on March 7.

The IPL,slated to be held from April 10 to May 24,runs almost parallel to the general elections scheduled from April 16 to May 16,and the organisers have been juggling to find a solution by not holding matches on polling dates. But a rejigged schedule,details of which were first reported by The Indian Express,has not been enough for state governments,most of whom have declined to provide security for some or all matches citing security constraints.

“The IPL organizers have been advised to accommodate the concerns of the various state governments and draw up a revised schedule and submit it to the MHA,” the Ministry said following feedback from eight states where matches are scheduled.

Apart for Tamil Nadu,which agreed to provide security since matches in Chennai were scheduled to start after polling in the state,the others had problems with the new match dates. While Andhra Pradesh and Delhi,slated to host 18 matches between them,expressed their inability to provide security for any of the games,Karnataka said it could provide security for only four of the six matches. West Bengal and Punjab agreed to provide security if they were “not required to release State police personnel for election duties as already promised”.

But this condition was shot down by the Home Ministry,which made it clear that it was “not possible to exempt any state from its promise to release police personnel for election duties,because these have been taken into account in arriving at the overall availability of security personnel”.

Some states demanded additional Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs) on match days,about which the Home Ministry is yet to make a decision. West Bengal asked for 30 such companies for a match scheduled on May 4; Chandigarh said it could not provide security for a match on May 17,and sought five additional companies for matches on other days; Punjab stated its inability to provide security for a match on May 1; Maharashtra and Rajasthan said they would be able to provide security “only if additional CPMF companies are provided”.

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