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Strict demands puts IPL matches in jeopardy
JAIPUR: It's official that Pink City won't host the Indian Premier League opening extravaganza. After IPL chairman Lalit Modi, in Mumbai confirmed the decision to take the inaugural out of Jaipur, the state government after citing security concerns on Thursday said, it was willing to host the IPL inaugural and other matches if some rescheduling are done.

Lalit Modi, chairman, IPL, said, "The venue has been shifted due to logistic reasons. Due to elections and movement of the television crew etc, the decision has been taken."

To this Shanti Dhariwal, home minister, Rajasthan said, "The state government has no issues in hosting the IPL inaugural ceremony. We are more than willing and ready to provide all the support. We have an issue with three dates and if they are adjusted we will extend full support in hosting the IPL matches."

However, going by the conditions which the state government has put forward for hosting this mega-event, it seems that the state was also in the league of other host states which have categorically refused to guarantee security during the matches.

Late on Thursday evening, in a high-level meeting, presided by chief minister Ashok Gehlot, it was decided to shoot a letter to the Center demanding a rescheduling of three of the IPL matches which are scheduled to take place on April 26, May 6 and May 9 in Jaipur and the deployment of at least four companies of Central forces consisting of about 400 security personnel. The state is scheduled go to general elections on May 7. The state has also said that it would not be able to provide security for the April 26 match in Jaipur, as it would start the poll preparations that day.

But with the Union home ministry already expressing its helplessness in providing more than 100 security personnel from central forces the plight of the other matches in the city is under scanner.

"The Center had asked us to give in writing whether we would be able to host the matches without any need for deployment of Central forces. In response to this, we have shot a letter to the Center demanding at least four companies of Central forces," said a senior home ministry official.

Amidst the statement crossfire’s the move to take inaugural out of Jaipur hasn't gone too well with the people in the capital who were looking forward to the gala event. While fans would miss out on the glitz that the inaugural brings along, officials at Rajasthan Cricket Association feel it's a fall out of Modi's loss at the RCA elections. Commenting on the news of shifting the inaugural venue RCA president Sanjay Dixit said, "It's a regrettable decision and the reasons given for shifting the venue are not valid." He further added that the move reflects that the RCA defeat is looming large on his (read Modi) mind.

Another RCA official on condition of anonymity said, "It seems he was waiting for a chance to take the mega event out of Pink city and the security issue gave him a chance to do so. One never knows if other matches will follow the suit."

When contacted the Rajasthan Royals officials declined to comment on the developments saying they are yet to hear from IPL and only after discussing with their management team will they be able to comment on the same.

While allegations were levied against Modi for taking the inaugural out of the Pink City, the IPL chairman said, "People can have their views, but we will do what is best for out tournament."

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