The fate of the second edition of the Indian Premier League hung in balance with the Home Ministry on Monday bluntly telling the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it would not be able to spare central forces for the Twenty20 tournament.
Asking the organisers of the high-profile tournament to hold serious consultations with concerned state governments,the Home Ministry expressed its “concerns and limitations” in sparing para-military forces for the cricket extravaganza because of the Lok Sabha elections.
This was conveyed when a three-member BCCI delegation met Special Secretary (Internal Security) Raman Srivastava to discuss the IPL matches issues,a Home Ministry spokesman said.
During the 90-minute meeting,the delegation,led by BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan,was asked to work out a new schedule in consultation with the states where the IPL matches are to be played,the spokesman said.
“Once the schedule is received,the Ministry will look at it in consultation with the state governments,” he said.
The Ministry had on March 13 had rejected the revised schedule of the IPL organisers and said it “may not be feasible to play matches as per the submitted schedule”.
“It is not possible to exempt any state from its promise to release state police personnel for election duties because these have been taken into account in arriving at the overall availability of security personnel,” the Ministry had said while rejecting the revised schedule.
After the meeting,Srinivasan said the Home Ministry has expressed its concerns but “we have expressed our difficulties and our own concerns.”
He also drew attention of the Ministry towards the involvement of various stakeholders in the mega cricket event.
Home Ministry did some tough talk with BCCI officials and asked them not to take the government for a ride by not holding proper consultations with the states where they want to hold the popular Twenty20 matches from next month,sources said.
Before submitting the revised schedule,IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi had earlier said at a media briefing that before chalking out the new fixtures,all states concerned had been taken into confidence.
However,the Ministry was taken in for a surprise when the states denied that they had been consulted by the IPL organisers.