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The prospects of Lalit Modi remaining IPL chairman and commissioner appeared to recede on Wednesday with the BCCI talking tough on action over the allegations against him, while the federal intelligence agencies widened their investigations to include the IPL TV rights holders.

In New Delhi, Rajiv Shukla, the board's media and finance committee chairman, issued a statement saying the IPL governing council's decision, to be taken at its April 26 meeting, would be final and binding on those concerned. "The question of people refusing to back down or not, they don't matter," Shukla told PTI. "After the meeting between BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Sharad Pawar yesterday, it has been decided that, at the April 26 governing council meeting, we will sit together and unanimously decide what to do."

Shukla, who is reported to be briefing the Prime Minister on the issue at some point on Wednesday, said the BCCI was ready to take tough decisions if required to uphold its image. "These decisions would be in the interest of cricket and the BCCI. No matter how harsh they might seem, decisions would be taken to protect the BCCI and cricket's image in the country. We have never compromised on our image in the past 60 years and there will be no compromise this time too," he said.

The controversy began with Modi questioning the role of Shashi Tharoor, the former federal minister, in the Kochi franchise, but has widened considerably to include Modi's role in the IPL, the financial affairs of the franchises and several of the other stakeholders in the tournament.

On Wednesday, the Income Tax department raided the offices of Multi Screen Media (MSM) and World Sports Group (WSG), the two firms that hold the TV broadcast rights to the IPL. The "surveys", as tax officials call them, were conducted in four different locations, including the home of the WSG's South Asia president, Venu Nair.

In 2008, WSG bagged the TV rights for a ten-year period, with a $918 million bid and a promise to spend $108m on promoting the event. It had simultaneously signed a deal with MSM that Sony would be the official broadcaster. The contract was recast before IPL 2009, with MSM agreeing to pay $1.63 billion for nine years.

That contract is now believed to be the subject of investigation but WSG has denied allegations of impropriety. "Any allegation that World Sports Group has used any funds received in connection with its sub-licence of these rights for inappropriate or unlawful activities is completely unfounded and without substance," read a statement issued by WSG.

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