Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BCCI, Pawar agree that Modi must quit as IPL chief

New Delhi, Apr.20 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister and cricket strongman Sharad Pawar has reportedly reached an agreement with Board of Control of Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar to ask Lalit Modi to quit as Indian Premier League Commissioner after the IPL final on April 25.Sources said Pawar reached the agreement as he was under pressure from both the Central Government and the IPL Governing Council.At a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Pawar was reportedly told that the government intends to take the investigation into the IPL ownership and cash row to its logical conclusion.On the other hand, a majority of the IPL Governing Council members have also met and come to the unanimous conclusion that Modi must step down to restore the credibility of both the IPL and the BCCI.Sources said the BCCI is seeing the IPL row as one of its biggest crises in recent times.With Modi arriving in Mumbai a short while ago on a chartered flight, equations and relationships within the BCCI have changed, and for all practical purposes, Modi is expected to formally put in his papers after meeting Pawar either tonight or on Wednesday.Earlier, Pawar and Manohar said a "collective decision" would be taken by the IPL Governing Council and that neither would interfere in the process.They said that an internal probe would be carried out on the IPL row.Manohar is widely known not to favour Modi''s continuance as IPL chief. But Modi, who is a BCCI Vice President, is not expected to give up without a fight.Pawar and Manohar said they have agreed that the protection of the "interests of Indian cricket loving population and the players, including upcoming players" is of prime importance. (ANI)

Final decision on Modi after IPL Governing Council meet on April 26: Pawar

New Delhi, Apr 20 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) strongman Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that a final decision on Lalit Modi''s continuance as the Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner would be taken after the meeting of the IPL Governing Council on April 26. Pawar said the decision would be made with the consent of all the members. "We will decide on this whole issue on the IPL Governing council meet on April 26," said Pawar. "The final decision will be taken with the consent of all the members of the governing body," he added. There are reports that the decision was taken after Pawar met BCCI President Shashank Manohar and the duo discussed what action, if any, has to be taken against Lalit Modi for his perceived role in the controversy that saw the Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, resigning. Earlier in the day, Pawar distanced himself from ModiHe told reporters that he had nothing to do with the IPL. "I am not dealing with this subject, am not a member of IPL committee. I am not aware of any BCCI meeting or impending decision. I have not received any notice of the meeting, only read in the papers that such a meeting has been scheduled for April 25," said Pawar. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Sharad Pawar met here this morning, reportedly to discuss the cash row controversy surrounding IPL and its impact on the future of the sport and the politics of the nation. The BCCI top officials are said to be extremely unhappy with Modi after he triggered the controversy by tweeting the Kochi franchise''s stake holding pattern, which also brought the cricket board under the Income Tax department''s scanner. Modi is under fire for allegedly helping his family and friends buy stakes in various IPL teams. The Cricket Board has also rescheduled its Working Committee meeting from April 24 to May 2 as it wants the IPL Governing Council -- which is expected to meet here on April 26, a day after the IPL final -- to first discuss the issue. (ANI)

Spare tyres ‘a major health hazard’

LONDON - Experts have said that people carrying excess weight around their waists, are oblivious to the health risk they are putting themselves in.Three leading UK charities are launching a new Active Fat campaign to raise awareness of the dangers, after it was seen that most people do not realise that their spare tyre puts them at increased risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.The poll on 2,085 people showed that in all, 97 percent of people were unaware of a link despite 71 percent of those surveyed saying they had an expanding waistline.Excess weight around the middle generates oestrogen and excess chemicals in the stomach, which put people at higher risk of killer diseases.Women are at risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease if their waist measures more than 80cm (31.5 inches) while men are at risk at more than 94cm (37 inches).“That ‘harmless’ spare tyre around your waist is actually a major health hazard,” the BBC quoted Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation charity which is working alongside Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK, as saying.“While you might be relaxing at home, your fat cells are working overtime to pump out excess hormones and other chemicals that can cause disease.“Wrapping a tape measure around your middle takes just a few seconds, but it could be your vital first step towards a healthier future,” he said.Waist size is likely to increase throughout life, but many are in denial about their spare tyre, say the charities.In the poll, women were less likely than men to worry about the health consequences of their muffin top and instead were more concerned with how they looked and whether they could fit into their clothes.Less than half of men and women (44 percent) had tried to do more exercise as a way to avoid going up in belt size, while some 27 percent of people bought bigger sized clothes.As part of the campaign, the charities are calling for standard labelling on foods, highlighting the “traffic lights” system for nutrition. (ANI)

BSNL Strike Begins Today Nationwide

NEW DELHI, INDIA - More than 300,000 BSNL workers have started a nationwide strike today that may cripple the network of the company and adversely affect its 90 million subscribers all over the country. The employees of the company are up in arms against the proposals of the Sam Pitroda committee for voluntary retirement and some other issues. The employees are going on an indefinite strike to make the management see reason and fulfill their demands. The agitated BSNL employees started the strike today morning nationwide, only in Delhi the strike began at 10 am. As a result the users of BSNL landline and cellular networks may experience problems in making as well as receiving calls.To cope up with the Strike, BSNL has employed 10000 senior staffs and ITS cadre employees. It was affirmed by Kuldeep Goyal, the MD and Chairman of BSNL. A joint forum has called the strike. The agitated employees of the telecom giant are not happy with the Pitroda committee’s recommendation to VRS offering to 100,000 workers. They are also unwilling to accept the decision of the company to allow privatization to a degree. Earlier, A Raja, the telecom minister held discussion with the unions but he did not succeed in persuading them to cancel the strike.The workers of BSNL who have taken part in the strike have put forward a number of demands to the government. If these are not met, they will carry on the strike. The strike is going to affect the customer care of BSNL severely. The government has not given up the hope for another round of discussion though.

Tharoor asks PM to clear his name

New Delhi, Apr 20 (ANI): Former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said that he has asked the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to have the IPL cash row charges against him thoroughly investigated to ensure that his name is cleared.In an address to Parliament, Tharoor said: "I have asked the Prime Minister to conduct a thorough investigation into the charges and want to clear my name that has been ''besmirched''.He said he had committed nothing improper or illegal, but had resigned from the cabinet in the strongest moral traditions'' of the party as he did not want to be an embarrassment to it.He further said that he was deeply wounded by the fanciful and malicious charges levelled against him"I am new to Indian politics...but I have a long record of public service untainted by allegations of financial irregularity," Tharoor said.Speaking for a short while in his native tongue Malyalam, Tharoor drew on the emotional appeal of his Thiruvananthapuram constituency and received some support from Kerala MPs.Tharoor resigned on Sunday night after the Congress Core Committee asked him to do so.The Income Tax (I-T) department has given a clean chit to Tharoor, saying he did not benefit from the Kochi -IPL deal.The ministry said the I-T department is probing IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi''s offshore money and trying to find out if stakeholders are fronts for Modi.Tharoor is reportedly in trouble after Modi tweeted to reveal that Sunanda Pushkar, a close friend of Tharoor, had been gifted sweat equity worth Rs.70 crores in the new Kochi team, which was sold for Rs.1530 crores last month.Modi in his email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar had stated it was Tharoor who called him and instructed him not to reveal the identities of the stakeholders of the Kochi IPL franchisee.Tharoor, however, has denied this.Tharoor said he had ''''enough'''' of the controversy and denied securing any monetary interest in the Kochi IPL team. (ANI)