Friday, October 15, 2010


15 Oct 2010


From R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: The Commonwealth Games (CWG) over, Suresh Kalmadi and others involved in organising it are being put in the dock. Even Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is not being spared. The Government is instituting multiple inquiries into the Games-related financial irregularities and misutilisation of the government funds.

Sonia Gandhi has given a clear line to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the misdeeds for which the government and the Congress got the flak should not be pushed under the carpet just because Kalmadi and Sheila Dikshit belong to the party. She wants a thorough probe into all allegations made against the CWG organising committee and other agencies, the Congress sources said.

A top source in the Prime Minister's office (PMO) said a comprehensive probe is being considered as the Prime Minister was equally concerned. Agencies to be involved in probing various aspects of the irregularities will be identified and announced within three, four days, he said. 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are already seized of the matters even before the Games began while the government is examining which other agencies should get cracking to examine complaints from all angles, the source said.

PARLI PROBE: Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had already prepared a report on the Games but its chairman and BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi had put it on the hold as he felt nothing should be done at the stage of preparations lest they get derailed bringing a bad name to India. The Games over, the PAC report may be the first to arraign the organisers as it may be tabled in Parliament beginning winter session next month. Another Parliamentary committee is also seized of the matter.

The first to speak out on behalf of the government was External Affairs Minister S M Krishna. Asked if the government will forget the charges o corruption that surfaced before the Games in view of its successful completion and let Kalmadi go scot free, Krishna shot back: "Success of Games is one side of the story but natural corollary will be followed. Government has already said this and Government will follow it up."

CONG FOR PROBE: Without mincing words, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari also called for an inquiry, stating that "anyone allegedly mishandling of government funds has to be brought to book." 

"Obviously huge public money was spent in organising the event and such expenditures always undergo the audit process. We expect the government agencies and constitutional and statutory bodies will perform their responsibility to deliver the verdict, satisfactory to the nation," Tiwari affirmed at the AICC Press briefing on Friday.

Asked if Kalmadi will get the clean chit for ultimately successful conduct of the Games, he shot back: "Our party is not in the business of giving or not giving clean chit to anybody." The party's stand has always been that those mishandling the public money should not be spared, he said.

He said there were too aspects of the Games. One was the irregularities and delays. All the same, he wants to put on record that the party is satisfied with the successful and secure conduct of the games and it congratulates all those players who bagged medals for the country. Because of their efforts, India finished second in the game with its 100 plus tally of medals, he added.

PUBLIC JURY OUT: BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said: "The public jury is already out from the way spectators cheered every player and every artist at the closing ceremony Thursday night, but jeered Kalmadi and company." It only showed the anger and mood of the nation and "we will now wait for what actions the government takes" as both the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have gone on record that nobody will be spared, he said.

"We will wait for three-four days for the government action, though we are ready with our own investigations. We will pursue the issues of corruption, delay and mismanagement," Javadekar affirmed while talking to reporters at the BJP headquarters here.


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