Kalmadi faces protests from BJP, MNS in Pune
Pune: Suspended Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi, who is out on bail in a CWG scam case, was on Monday heckled by BJP and MNS activists during a visit to Pune Municipal Corporation building but he tried to put up a brave face saying he was "innocent".
Reacting to the noisy demonstration in front of the PMC building where he went to inaugurate a sports committee office, the 65-year-old Pune MP, who had walked out of Tihar Jail in January after being lodged there for nearly nine months, said he was "innocent and not guilty till proved guilty" and was not bothered by such protests.
BJP-MNS activists staged a vociferous protest waving black flags condemning Kalmadi for his alleged role in the CWG scam. The supporters of Kalmadi and police, however, intervened to clear his way towards the PMC building.
Kalmadi, who has ben suspended by the party, also held discussions with civic chief Mahesh Pathak on various problems plaguing his constituency, in what is seen as an effort to regain his lost political ground against the backdrop of the CWG scam.
The former CWG organising committee chief told reporters that he was not "bothered" by protest from any political parties.
"No one can stop me from engaging in developmental works for Pune, the city which has an important place on the world map," he said.
Claiming that the court had stated in his bail order that "no money trail has been found..(in CWG case)", Kalmadi said he entered the PMC building from the front gate and not from back entrance due to protest.
The Delhi High Court granted Kalmadi bail in January in a 2010 Games-related graft case.
In reply to a question, Kalmadi also reiterated that he would like to contest next Lok Sabha election from Pune, saying he would "never lower the prestige" of the city.
The MP said he was in touch with the Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on the issue of setting up a separate civil airport for Pune.
Meanwhile, spokespersons of BJP and MNS said that Kalmadi had no "moral right" to participate in public engagements in view of the corruption charges against him.
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