Home > Features > Interviews >

Lalit Modi: I have a good relationship with many people in the BJP, not worried about Arun Jaitley

Lalit Modi indicated that his RCA polls win is a stepping stone for BCCI return © Getty Images
Lalit Modi indicated that his RCA polls win is a stepping stone for BCCI return © Getty Images

Controversial former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who has been living in exile after being slapped with a life ban, was on Tuesday elected president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, prompting a livid BCCI to indefinitely suspend the RCA. In an exclusive interview to dna’s Derek Abraham, Modi says there’s a wind of change in India and he is sure to return. Excerpts from the interview:

dna: Congratulations on your victory in the Rajasthan Cricket Association elections. Must be a bittersweet feeling because the BCCI has suspended the RCA…

Lalit Modi (LM): I’d call the decision childish, really. The decision to ban me and suspend the association is stupid and childish. Why take it out on the players? I have been democratically elected and the election was conducted under the supervision of an observer appointed by the Supreme Court. We will challenge the BCCI’s decision in court. We will do whatever we have to do. When they banned Jagmohan Dalmiya, they didn’t ban the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). Dalmiya didn’t attend BCCI meetings, but someone else from the association did. I have already authorised the deputy president (Mehmood Abdi, who, incidentally, is Modi’s lawyer) to attend BCCI meetings on behalf of the RCA. Look, there is a process. Mr Sanjay Patel has been expelled from his home association, the Baroda Cricket Association. But he continues to be the BCCI secretary. That’s fine with me. He was elected by the BCCI. Similarly, every state association has a right to choose whoever it wants.

dna: You have won these elections in typically regal fashion. Much like the iconic politician MG Ramachandran won the 1984 Tamil Nadu state assembly polls whilst on a hospital bed in New York.

I am totally thrilled to have won an election sitting here in London. It’s a landslide win. I am extremely grateful to the RCA for electing me with a thumping majority. They had faith in me and my work. And they have already seen how my predecessors have worked. The RCA is in a shambles. They (previous regime) have ruined it. I am only bothered about cricket and cricketers.

dna: You have always maintained that N Srinivasan, the BCCI’s president-in-abeyance, is remote-controlling proceedings…

This will be taken up in court soon. The Supreme Court will deal with it. And justice Mukul Mudgal (and the probe committee headed by him) will deal with it.

dna: The BCCI has decided to appoint an ad hoc committee to run the RCA. Your thoughts…

(interrupts) There will be no ad hoc committee. The RCA will be run by the RCA. We are governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act. That’s the law in Rajasthan.

dna: When will you be back in India?

Let the election results be out. It’s just two weeks away. We will talk again.

dna: So you are hoping that the new government, which is likely to headed by your namesake, will allow you to come back?

Look, there is a wind of change in India. I am sure there will be a new government. I don’t have an axe to grind with any government. But yes, I do have an axe to grind with some people in the current government. It was a witch-hunt. And like you and many others in the country, I am looking forward to that wind of change.

dna: It is rumoured that Arun Jaitley will be a very important person in the new government. And the same man was part of the BCCI disciplinary committee, which suspended you…

That doesn’t matter. It isn’t about an individual. It’s about a govt policy. In any case, you can’t expect to have everybody on your side. We also have a lot of friends. I am not worried about Jaitley. I have democratically won my election. Let him first win his election. Then we’ll talk.

dna: So you hope to use your good offices with the BJP to come back to India?

I have a good relationship with many people in the BJP. I won’t take names, though. Look, my job is to work for cricket. I am just doing that.

dna: Your passport has been impounded. How will you return?

Look, that matter will be come up for hearing in the Delhi high court on May 8 (Thursday). We are hoping for a favourable verdict.

dna: You have maintained that there is a credible threat to your life…

Yes, that’s why I have stayed away from India.

dna: Do you have BCCI aspirations?

Look, I gave the BCCI a global product like the IPL. People in the BCCI are doing all it can to take it down. There is so much mess surrounding the league and the BCCI. People have lost faith in the IPL. Nobody in the BCCI speaks about these things. Only a few do.

dna: Do you want to be BCCI president?

I have no such aspirations. I want to clean up cricket and I hope to be in India very soon.

(The writer is Principal Correspondent at DNA, where the above article first appeared)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India 2014

Loughborough becomes latest ICC-accredited testing centre

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s ton takes Pakistan to 219/4 on Day 1

Shahid Afridi wins it for his team in an exhibition match for displaced at Bannu

Younis Khan becomes 12th batsman with a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Younis Khan equals Inzamam-ul-Haq with 25 Test tons

Younis Khan becomes 12th batsman with a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Revealed: Aamir Khan’s alien avatar in PK- View pic!

Latest Moto 360 software update brings battery saving feature and mood lighting

Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone at the Dubai press conference for Happy New Year-view pic!

Kill Dil song G Phaad Ke: Govinda steals Saif Ali Khan’s thunder

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

Novak Djokovic names new-born son Stefan

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here