CWG scam may rock Parliament today

first_imgParliament is set to witness a full-blooded spectre on Wednesday when Manmohan Singh’s government would try and defend – what the Opposition has successfully portrayed as – the “indefensible”. The blip from sports minister Ajay Maken, blaming the NDA regime for appointing Suresh Kalmadi as the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chairman, has snowballed into a no- holds- barred debate in both Houses.A visibly cornered government was continually at the receiving end on Tuesday.Not merely because a disgraced Kalmadi is already cooling his heels in Tihar Jail, but also since the Opposition’s onslaught, backed by the CAG report and other documentary evidences, looked scathingly credible.In the Rajya Sabha, BJP veteran Arun Jaitley went for the kill and said the entire government brass, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), looked the other way as Kalmadi hijacked the conduct of the Games.The OC, Jaitley said, was intended to be a government entity, or at least a government- supported body, but Kalmadi got it registered as a private society.”This completed the hijack and the objections of sports ministers (Sunil Dutt, Mani Shankar Aiyar and M. S. Gill) were ignored. The Prime Minister overruled everyone, even a recommendation of the GoM, and allowed the OC to become Kalmadi’s personal fiefdom,” he said.The BJP leader demanded that the government must identify the source from where Kalmadi drew his immense powers, and pointed out that the Pune MP had claimed to be appointed as the OC chief after a series of meetings with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.advertisement”The political heads of the government of India and Delhi are accountable to the country through Parliament. The government never took the House into confidence and presented a twisted version of the facts on this monumental fraud,” Jaitley added.Speaking for the government, Rashid Alvi (Congress) presented a feeble defence and blamed the CAG for exceeding its brief by commenting on policy matters and the appointment of Kalmadi. This led to an uproar in the House with CPM’s Prasanta Chatterjee regretting the practice of constantly attacking the CAG.The CPI’s D. Raja wouldn’t settle for describing the conduct of the Games as anything less than a “financial loot” of taxpayers’ money. “If there are skeletons in the cupboards, all should come out. The PMO had a crucial role in appointing Kalmadi and, therefore, the PM should personally respond to all this,” he said.Raja said the estimates of organising the CWG went up from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 18,532 by 2010. “The then finance minister (P. Chidambaram) should explain this financial loot,” he added.The Opposition said heads must roll, and identified Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit as the one who must instantly go. Their other demand was that nothing less than a Supreme Court- monitored CBI probe can take the lid off the wrongdoings.In the Lok Sabha, the BJP’s Yashwant Sinha said the PM failed to act against Kalmadi despite complaints by at least two sports ministers and senior officials. ” Kalmadi could have been removed any time over the years ( from 2004 to 2010),” he said.More trouble seems to be in store for Sheila DikshitDelhi Lokayukta, Justice Manmohan Sarin, has sought the latest CAG report to explore if a case can be made out on the basis of the report, which indicted the CM. The move gains significance since the Opposition has been demanding Dikshit’s resignation on corruption charges related to the Commonwealth Games.last_img

first_imgParliament is set to witness a full-blooded spectre on Wednesday when Manmohan Singh’s government would try and defend – what the Opposition has successfully portrayed as – the “indefensible”. The blip from sports minister Ajay Maken, blaming the NDA regime for appointing Suresh Kalmadi as the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chairman, has snowballed into a no- holds- barred debate in both Houses.A visibly cornered government was continually at the receiving end on Tuesday.Not merely because a disgraced Kalmadi is already cooling his heels in Tihar Jail, but also since the Opposition’s onslaught, backed by the CAG report and other documentary evidences, looked scathingly credible.In the Rajya Sabha, BJP veteran Arun Jaitley went for the kill and said the entire government brass, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), looked the other way as Kalmadi hijacked the conduct of the Games.The OC, Jaitley said, was intended to be a government entity, or at least a government- supported body, but Kalmadi got it registered as a private society.”This completed the hijack and the objections of sports ministers (Sunil Dutt, Mani Shankar Aiyar and M. S. Gill) were ignored. The Prime Minister overruled everyone, even a recommendation of the GoM, and allowed the OC to become Kalmadi’s personal fiefdom,” he said.The BJP leader demanded that the government must identify the source from where Kalmadi drew his immense powers, and pointed out that the Pune MP had claimed to be appointed as the OC chief after a series of meetings with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.advertisement”The political heads of the government of India and Delhi are accountable to the country through Parliament. The government never took the House into confidence and presented a twisted version of the facts on this monumental fraud,” Jaitley added.Speaking for the government, Rashid Alvi (Congress) presented a feeble defence and blamed the CAG for exceeding its brief by commenting on policy matters and the appointment of Kalmadi. This led to an uproar in the House with CPM’s Prasanta Chatterjee regretting the practice of constantly attacking the CAG.The CPI’s D. Raja wouldn’t settle for describing the conduct of the Games as anything less than a “financial loot” of taxpayers’ money. “If there are skeletons in the cupboards, all should come out. The PMO had a crucial role in appointing Kalmadi and, therefore, the PM should personally respond to all this,” he said.Raja said the estimates of organising the CWG went up from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 18,532 by 2010. “The then finance minister (P. Chidambaram) should explain this financial loot,” he added.The Opposition said heads must roll, and identified Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit as the one who must instantly go. Their other demand was that nothing less than a Supreme Court- monitored CBI probe can take the lid off the wrongdoings.In the Lok Sabha, the BJP’s Yashwant Sinha said the PM failed to act against Kalmadi despite complaints by at least two sports ministers and senior officials. ” Kalmadi could have been removed any time over the years ( from 2004 to 2010),” he said.More trouble seems to be in store for Sheila DikshitDelhi Lokayukta, Justice Manmohan Sarin, has sought the latest CAG report to explore if a case can be made out on the basis of the report, which indicted the CM. The move gains significance since the Opposition has been demanding Dikshit’s resignation on corruption charges related to the Commonwealth Games.last_img

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