IPL 2 gets green signal but with a few changes

After a deadlock over the dates for the Indian Premier League (IPL) season two, home ministry sources said that IPL 2, scheduled to begin from April 10, is finally on, but after a few changes in the schedule.

The final call on the security issues related to Indian Premier League was made at the high-level meeting on security for IPL, held by the home ministry in New Delhi on Friday.

Sources said the ministry has suggested change in the dates and venues in the IPL schedule. The meeting was held after as several states conveyed their willingness to host the Twenty20 cricket tournament only with the help of paramilitary forces.

The Union home ministry held a video conference with senior officials of the states where IPL matches are scheduled to be played next month. Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta held consultations with seven states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal during which he was apprised of the security problems for hosting the mega event.

The states are understood to have again told the home ministry during the 90-minute video conference that it was not possible to hold the Twenty20 matches without additional security personnel from the central grid.

After the states expressed their views, Gupta held a meeting with home minister P Chidambaram who will take a final call on the tournament beginning on April 10. The meeting was also attended by the security top brass and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan.

Concerned over availability of paramilitary forces in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Home Ministry had sent a revised schedule to the states concerned on March seven avoiding the polling dates.

Barring Tamil Nadu, all other states have agreed to host the matches with a rider that at least five to six companies (500-600 personnel) of paramilitary forces are kept at the disposal of the state police for security related issues, official sources said. Reports suggest that only Delhi is willing to host the league and the elections simultaneously.

On Thursday, the West Bengal government said it would request the Centre for an additional 30 companies of paramilitary forces to hold the IPL match in Kolkata on May 4 as the date was close to the Lok Sabha polls in the state scheduled on May 7.

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