Had met Lalit Modi in London, asked him to return and face the law: Sharad Pawar

Sharad Pawar
Nationalist Congress Party  (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Wednesday confirmed that he had met former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi in London a few weeks ago and told him to come back to India and face the law.

“I told him he should come back to India and face the law. He told me he feared if he returned, his passport would be impounded again,” said the former agriculture minister.

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Modi has been living in London since 2010 after the Board of Control for Cricket in India slapped a lifetime ban on him for “committing acts of misconduct and indiscipline”. Pawar told reporters that Modi feared returning to India as his security was withdrawn. “Lalit told me there was a risk to his life based on a Mumbai police report. In the past, I checked with the Mumbai police; there seemed to be substance in his fears,” he said.

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However, Pawar reiterated his stand that he had asked Modi to come back and present himself before law of the land. Pawar gave his reaction after Lalit Modi, in an interview to a TV channel, claimed that Sharad Pawar and other NCP leader Praful Patel and Congress leader Rajiv Shukla had tried to help him but he had refused their offers.

Incidentally, Patel clarified that he had also told Lalit Modi to return to India and face the investigation.

Pawar further said he never made any commitment to Lalit Modi. "I told him if he returns I can promise him fair, due process. I offered to talk to the government to ensure fairness if he returned and faced the law," he said. He added that there was no harm talking with anyone.

"He (Lalit Modi) was the vice-president of BCCI when I was the president. I'm surprised the way the issue is being highlighted for last couple of days," Pawar said.

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