Kalmadi slams CM, says OC would not be scapegoats any more

first_img(From right to left) Lt Governor of Delhi Tejender Khanna, Suresh Kalmadi, Organising Committee Chairman of XIX Commonwealth Games, and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit during the closing ceremony of the mega sporting event at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday evening. PTIOpen war broke out between leading lights of the Commonwealth Games with Suresh Kalmadi hitting back at Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, on Sunday declaring he would not want the Organising Committee, which he chaired, to be the “scapegoats any more.”Kalmadi’s ire was promoted by Dikshit’s comments to PTI on Saturday that the “suspicion” of corruption in the just concluded mega sporting event is on the Games Organising Committee(OC). The “real corruption seems to be with regard to the money given as loans (to the OC)”, she said. Central government had given loans to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore.22 more works under scanner | No need to quit my post: Hooper | WATCH VIDEOCVC gets cracking on swindlers | CWG corruption: Dikshit blames OC | I am ready for probe: Kalmadi | After PM, Sonia snubs Kalmadi Slamming Dikshit, a beleaguered Kalmadi, said her aspersions on corruption in the OC were “most disappointing and uncalled for” and that she must indulge in self-reflection on corruption in her own departments.In a hard-hitting statement, Kalmadi said that keeping quiet should not be interpreted as a “sign of weakness”.”But, on Dussehra day, I owe it to the Organising Committee that we speak out. We don’t want to be the scapegoats anymore,” he said.advertisement”Delhi Chief Minister Mrs. Shiela Dikshit’s aspersions on corruption in the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi are most disappointing and uncalled for. It is not right to deflect and point fingers at others when she must indulge in self-reflection on corruption in her own departments,” Kalmadi said.He said the OC has already welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to set up a probe panel and hoped that the Terms of Reference of the Shunglu Committee will include not just the scope of work undertaken by the OC at a budget of Rs 1,620 crore but also the Rs 16,000 spent by the Delhi Government.”She has said that the ways of the OC are mysterious whereas the Commonwealth Games chief Mr. Michael Fennell declared the conduct of the Games as exceptional and successful,” said Kalmadi.Kalmadi, a senior Congress leader, finds himself increasingly isolated within his own Party after being snubbed by Prime Minister and party president Sonia Gandhi.Both did not invite Kalmadi while felicitating the Commonwealth Games medal winners.”Despite a series of attacks in the run up to the Games, I was quiet as I wanted the Games to succeed. Keeping quiet should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Nor should patience be seen as a sign of guilt. It was more important to focus on the task of conducting the Games well,” he said.Kalmadi said that transparency and accountability remain the watch words in the Organising Committee. “We are confident that the guilty will not be spared irrespective of which agency they belong to,” he said.Kalmadi also criticised Dikshit for taking credit for getting the Games Village ready in time.”The Games have succeeded because of the efforts of Team India, including a large number of people and agencies and not any individual. Dikshit’s attempt to take credit for getting the Games Village ready in time does not fit with the team concept.The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the OC, who were preparing the Village for over two years, co-ordinated the work of a number of agencies to ensure that it was entirely ready to welcome the athletes,” he said.KALMADI, DIKSHIT ROW OVER CWG IS TO DIVERT PROBE: BJPBJP on Sunday said trading of charges and counter-charges between Commonwealth Games Organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit over reports of corruption in various CWG projects was an attempt to divert and confuse the investigation.The “public spat” between Kalmadi and Dikshit is an attempt to confuse and divert the investigation. “They are blaming each other but both are responsible for the mismanagement, delays and corruption,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told PTI.He alleged that Kalmadi’s statement that he will resign only if the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi ask him to do is “akin to Telecom Minister A Raja’s statement in his defence of 2G spectrum charges that he has acted on the advice of the Prime Minister at every stage.”advertisementThe BJP warned that along with the 2G spectrum scam, corruption in the Commonwealth Games will prove to be the “nemesis of the UPA government”.Javadekar said, “Kalmadi is doing exactly the same as Raja by holding everybody else responsible for the mess.”I-T DEPT COLLECTS CWG WORKS RELATED PAPERSThe Income Tax department has collected documents pertaining to tenders and award of contracts for its “two pronged” probe into the finances of the Commonwealth Games even as a high-level committee headed by a former CAG goes into allegations of corruption related to the mega sporting event.The I-T department’s second line of probe will go into deductions under the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) category which the Organising Committee of the games is expected to cut from the salaries of professionals hired by it like event managers, anchors and other officials.A special investigation cell of the Finance Ministry has already begun its homework on all the tenders and contracts which have been sourced from various agencies and organisations, sources said.The department will primarily look for evasion of taxes, if any, by the way of over-invoicing and inflation of prices in the works related to the games including infrastructure projects, procurements and project planning, they said.The I-T department has got tender documents related to venue development and overlays, image and look, procurement, technology, accreditation, workforce, communication, risk management, finance and accounts, press operations, television rights, project planning and management related to the Commonwealth Games.It is also looking into financial estimates of real estate firms which have built the infrastructure like the games village buildings and other facilities.According to the sources, the department has sourced some initial reports of works from the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) of various government departments which were involved in the Commonwealth Games before it initiates its search and survey operations on various stakeholders.The department will also probe the TDS deductions on salaries paid to the professionals.The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in 2008 had expanded the scope of ‘professionals’ under the Income Tax Act, 1961 which included sportspersons, umpires, referees, coaches, trainers, team physicians and physiotherapists, event managers, commentators, anchors, and sports columnists and categorised their services as ‘professional services.’Such services are taxed in accordance with Section 194J of the I-T Act.The apex committee of the overall probes to be conducted by various agencies like the I-T department, CVC, CBI and Enforcement Directorate — constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — is headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) V K Shunglu and will submit its report to him within three months.CVC ASKS FOR REPORTS BY MONTH-ENDThe Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), probing alleged financial irregularities in construction and procurement works related to the Commonwealth Games, has directed all agencies concerned to submit their reports by the month-end.Official sources said a reminder has recently been issued to Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Public Works Department (PWD) in this regard.advertisementThe move came after Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas objected to the “lackadaisical approach” and continuous delay by agencies in submitting replies to the queries raised by the anti-corruption watchdog, they said.”We have issued reminders to all the agencies and directed them to submit replies. They have been told to give point-wise answers to our queries by the end of October,” a senior CVC official said.He said, based on their replies, the CVC will give its findings or final report to a committee formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India V K Shungloo.”All the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) in the concerned organisations have been asked specifically to pursue the matter,” the officer said.An analysis by Chief Technical Examination Wing of CVC has found alleged financial and administrative irregularities in 16 construction and procurement projects.Six of them are being done by PWD, three by MCD, two each by CPWD, DDA, NDMC and one by RITES, a Government of India Enterprise, the CVC report said.According to the report, “Almost all the organisations executing works for Commonwealth Games have considered inadmissible factors to jack-up the reasonable price to justify award of work at quoted rates citing urgent or emergent circumstances.”The CVC has written a letter of complaint to CBI asking for a probe into alleged criminal conspiracy by unknown MCD officials in granting work for upgradation of street lighting in the national capital.Meanwhile, the agency has also asked the CWG Organising Committee and the Sports Ministry to keep a sample of each items of the equipment and props hired from foreign suppliers for the Games venues ready for its inspection.’NO MORE TAX BURDEN ON DELHIITES FOR CWG SPENDING’Delhiites can breathe easy as Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has ruled out any new taxes to make up for expenses incurred on the Commonwealth Games which are estimated to have cost the nation a whopping Rs 70,000 crore.”Don’t worry. You won’t get any new tax… At least my very very firm opinion is that we don’t need to increase taxes but there is a need to make our collection system more transparent and efficient,” she told PTI when asked whether more taxes would be levied in view of the huge expenses on the Games.Delhi government is facing serious fund crunch due to huge spending on infrastructure projects linked to the Games.According to latest official estimates, about Rs 15,000 crore were spent by the city government for improving infrastructure facilities ahead of the sporting extravaganza.TIGHT CWG VIGIL HELPS COPS STUMBLE UPON RACKETSThe heightened vigil by Delhi Police and central security agencies during the Commonwealth games in the wake of terror threat had some interesting spin-offs–unearthing of human trafficking and hawala rackets and also a cross-border call girl link.With clear instructions from Union Home Ministry not to ignore any input without verification, sources in the Delhi Police on Sunday said the trail of some such inputs had a hilarious ending while some led to busting of hawala or human trafficking networks.In one such case, an input was received about a lady using a fictitious name during her telephone calls to a person in Pakistan. The nature of the conversation was intimate in nature, the sources said.However, when the woman was informed by the service provider through a SMS that she had been calling too frequently across the border, in the next call made by her she expressed apprehensions that she would be picked up and “their plan will be washed away”.The Delhi Police swung into action suspecting her to be a woman recruit of some terror outfit. As she was questioned, it took a little time for the sleuths to understand that she was a call girl who had met the Pakistani national in a Gulf country, the sources said.The human trafficking racket which also included prostitution was busted mainly from Badarpur area in the outskirts of South Delhi and East Delhi, the police sources said.During the intense vigil, which included two days of near shutdown in the national capital on October three and 14, police also stumbled upon new hawala rackets and a revived “savari racket”.The “savari racket” was started by terrorist groups and ISI in which poor people having relations across the border in Pakistan are used for ferrying money and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) into India through Samjhauta Express — the only train link between India and Pakistan.The police also unearathed rackets dealing with FICN and a few persons have been picked up for questioning.With inputs from PTIlast_img

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