Kalmadi "to be arrested" but hits back at Government (25/02/11)

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Source: www.insidethegames.com

By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Delhi 2010 Organizing CommitteeSuresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, is set to be arrested for his involvement in the corruption linked to the event, it has been claimed by the media in India.

The claims were made as his two closest aides, Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma, the secretary general and the director general respectively of the Organising Committee, were appearing in a court in Delhi charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption in in connection with a $24 million (£15 million) contract awarded to Swiss Timing.

They were remanded for five days but Kalmadi hit back claiming that Government officials were just as involved in the preparations for the Games as the Organising Committee.

"Only officials of the Organising Committee are being called for questioning by the investigative agencies," said Kalmadi.

"The entire process seems to be against the officials who have worked with the Organising Committee for many years.

"No decision related to the Games was taken alone by anyone.

"So I am shocked that investigative agencies are only calling the officers of the organising committee and that no Government officers have so far been called by them.

"I don't understand that when all the details are with the investigating agencies, all documents are with them, then whyare they only calling the Organising Comiittee officials.

"Organising Committee members are only being targeted, why not others involved in the decision making.

"We want this thing to become clear when all the papers are with the agencies."

Kalmadi, who is President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), claimed that all the decisions to do with the Games had been approved by the Executive Board, consisting of senior Central and Delhi Government officers.

"I would like to state that all the decisions had been made by the members of the Executive Board and not alone by the Organising Committee members," he said.

"It's not the decision made by any individual.

"Nowhere decisions were made by the members of the Organising Committee.

"There was the finance sub-committee, finance committee and the Executive Board.

"They all have senior Government officers.

"They all were participatory in the decision-making process.

"The executive board [of the Organising Committee] comprisedtwo officers from Government of India, two from Delhi Government, three officials from Commonwealth federations and then IOA people, including myself and Randhir [Singh, the secretary general].

"So it was a very balanced team, and all decisions have been taken unanimously.

"Everybody was part of it and the Union Sports Ministry has been also part of the decision-making process at every step.

"There was no case where we people differed. So again I ask why only the Organising Committee is being singled out."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised that anyone convicted of being involved in corruption would be punished.

"There were complaints of wrong-doings even before the Games and from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had promised that if a wrong thing has been done, we will investigate the matter," he said.

"If found guilty, no one will be spared."


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