Commonwealth Games Scam: Kalmadi appointment was political, PAC told

A. M. Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Union Sports Secretary, Mr Pradeep Kumar Deb, was grilled by members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament here on Wednesday over the Commonwealth Games Scam.

Mr Deb is learnt to have told the panel that the decision to appoint Mr Suresh Kalmadi as the Chairman of Organising Committee (OC) was taken at the “highest level” of politics. The PAC, headed by BJP leader, Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, is looking at a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the CWG scam.

Members in the panel told Business Line that the Secretary was asked why Mr Kalmadi was made Chairman despite letters of objection by three Sports Ministers, Mr Sunil Dutt, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar and Mr M. S. Gill. “He told us that the decision was taken politically, at the highest level,” an MP said.

The members said the NDA Government had decided in 2003 that the OC would be managed by the Government itself. But it was later changed by the UPA Government. “He did not give a proper answer as to why such a decision was changed,” another member said. The PAC, sources said, was surprised to note that no files were available on the decision to appoint Mr Kalmadi.

Mr Deb is learnt to have blamed “bad media coverage” for the CWG not being able to generate any revenue. “He told us that people did not turn up for the events because of bad media coverage,” a member said, adding that the organisers had to provide “so many free tickets” for VIPs.

Members also asked about the lack of co-ordination of the Games. They pointed out that the events were monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office, a Group of Ministers, a Committee by Secretaries and several Ministries. “The Secretary expressed his helplessness. He said daily monitoring was not possible even with such an elaborate mechanism,” a member said. The Secretary said shortage of labourers and contractors was also a reason for the delay in implementation of many Games-related works.

Published on July 31, 2012

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