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Holier than thou? Old wine...

The point is not that Modi, a BCCI vice-president, can't have passes. He can have his five, though maybe, he should really not be asking for those "blank" all area passes.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 03:59 IST

On Sunday night, this BCCI regime's most visible face, Lalit Modi, was on television. On NDTV's Cricket Controversies, where he was telling viewers about how badly cricket matches were organised at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Looking righteously indignant and striking a chord with everyone who's tried to buy a ticket, Modi spoke of his own sorry experience during the just-concluded India-England game here. How he had bought a ticket for the game and was still unable to get a seat.

He added that the reason was probably the number of people who had been given complimentary passes by the DDCA.

He also lashed out at the organisation for the number of people wearing the "official badges", saying these were the reasons genuine ticket-holders had problems.

In short, he called it a "lousy experience". He then went on to talk about the wonders he has done at the Rajasthan Cricket Association (which is true enough, the Sawai Man Singh stadium is quite splendid with superb facilities). And then went on to castigate freeloaders at the Kotla, pointing out that the RCA gave away no complimentaries whatsoever (except those they had bought and given away) and added that he and chief minister had both bought tickets in Jaipur.

In general, Modi would be right. But his vehement anti-DDCA rhetoric sounds a little strange when you see a letter addressed to DDCA Vice-President CK Khanna that states: "Dear Sir, As per our telephonic conversation, I am sending you Mr Lalit Modi's ticket requirements for the 1st ODI, which is going to be held in Delhi. 5 VVIP Passes for L.K. Modi's family, 3 Blank All Stadia Passes, 2 Car Passes, 1 VVIP Car Pass which goes right into the stadium…"

The letter of March 16, a copy of which is with HT, is on the official RCA letterhead and signed by Radhika Moolraj, Executive Assistant to the RCA President.

The point is not that Modi, a BCCI vice-president, can't have passes. He can have his five, though maybe, he should really not be asking for those "blank" (no name) all area passes (the same badges he went on about) or the rest.

If he's doing what everyone else is doing, why sit on television and pontificate about the ills of the system or freeloaders?

Incidentally, Khanna, when contacted, said there was no question of Modi not getting a seat in the Kotla.

"We welcomed him in his capacity of Board vice-president and gave him due regard. He didn't have a ticket, he had a BCCI badge that allowed him to sit anywhere. He is welcome here and will be."

About Modi's tirade against the DDCA giving away too many passes, Khanna remarked: "We have sold tickets worth Rs 4.5 crore this time, including corporates.

Higher than elsewhere and that too, in a city like Delhi, with the pressure of MPs, Ministers and government officials."

First Published: Apr 05, 2006 02:38 IST