New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and
former union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has criticised the
decision to hold the Commonwealth Games in the country, a view
which has come in for flak by the party.
A known opponent of the Commonwealth Games, Aiyar told
Headlines Today that he was Sports Minister till 2008 and
had wanted the government not to go for the Games as it was an
"enormous waste of money". He said the poor will not have
access to India`s biggest sporting event.
Aiyar alleged the way India bagged the Games was nothing
less than a bribe and described it as a "tamasha" (drama).
Aiyar maintained that the money spent on the Games could
have been better utilised for anti-poverty and welfare
Congress was quick to virtually snub Aiyar saying the
party supports the Commonwealth Games.
"I cannot comment on statements made by individuls. As
far as the party is concerned, we support the Commonwealth
Games. International sports is meant to promote friendship
between countries," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told
She said organising the Games was an honour and a matter
of prestige for the country and India could showcase its
Meanwhile, Aiyar got support from the Janata Dal
(United)on the Commonwealth Games.
"The UPA government is busy making arrangements for the
Commonwealth Games. What is the use of this show when the
common people of the country are finding it very difficult
to survive due to constant price rise?" a party release said.