New Delhi: Embattled Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Sunday hit back at the Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit, saying 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 a day after Dikshit pointed fingers on the OC for alleged corruption, Kalmadi said that keeping quiet should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness and the OC would not want to be the “scapegoats” any more.
“Delhi chief minister 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.
“She has said that the ways of the OC are mysterious whereas the Commonwealth Games chief Michael Fennell declared the conduct of the Games as exceptional and successful,” said Kalmadi, who finds himself increasingly isolated within his own Congress Party after being snubbed by Prime Minister and party president Sonia Gandhi. Both did not invite Kalmadi while felicitating the Commonwealth Games medal winners.
Kalmadi said that 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 Rs1,620 crore but also the Rs16,000 spent by the Delhi Government.
“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,” Kalmadi said.