Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought to distance himself from the IPL controversy with a state minister describing as baseless allegations that Modi had put pressure on IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi to bring a new team to Ahmedabad.
Earlier in the day, former Congress MP from Vadodara Satyajit Gaekwad, who is a spokesperson of Kochi franchise, had alleged that IPL commissioner Lalit Modi is targeting the new team under pressure from Narendra Modi, who is also president of Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA).
"GCA or its president (Modi) has nothing to do with the entire controversy. Allegations levelled against us are baseless," Shah who is also vice-president of GCA told reporters here.
"Franchise was awarded to the team following the open bidding process and in that no cricketing association or GCA has any role to play," he said refuting the allegations levelled by Gaekwad.
"These allegations were levelled not by promoters of the Kochi team but by political persons, and cricket should be above politics," Shah said.
To a question whether a meeting was held between Lalit Modi, one of the bidders for Ahmedabad team Gautam Adani and Narendra Modi before the bidding process started in Ahmedabad, Shah said, "I am not aware of any such meeting. Such meetings have no meaning as far as open bid system is concerned."
In reply to another question on whether GCA had backed Adani group in bidding for Ahmedabad IPL team, the Gujarat minister said IPL auction is entirely based on open bidding system where backing is not required.
To a question whether Gujarati promoters of Kochi team had met the chief minister and offered to shift base to Ahmedabad, Shah said he was not aware of any such meeting.