Congress steers clear of Kalmadi`s sacking

Congress on Monday steered clear of the sacking of Suresh Kalmadi as chairman of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, saying only the Sports Ministry, which took the decision, could explain it.

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2011, 23:49 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress on Monday steered clear of
the sacking of Suresh Kalmadi as chairman of Commonwealth
Games Organising Committee, saying only the Sports Ministry,
which took the decision, could explain it.

The party also indicated that there would not be any
more drastic action like explusion from the party against
Kalmadi, at least for the time being. Kalmadi, a Congress
member of Lok Sabha from Pune, had also been a Union Minister
in the past.
"If Sports Ministry had taken a decision, it would be
better that they gave the detailed information as this
concerns their jurisdiction," party spokesperson Manish Tewari
told reporters here.

To a question on whether further action can be taken
by Congress party against Kalmadi, Tewari said, "Congress had
taken action. He was asked to resign from the post of Congress
Parliamentary Party Secretary immediately after the Games were
over. Moreover, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had assured of
detailed investigations into the CWG Games and Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh ordered the same immediately after Games were
over."

He said these actions were "evidence of our resolve"
to fight corruption.

The party`s reaction came after Kalmadi as well as Lalit
Bhanot were today sacked as the Chairman and Secretary General
of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee
respectively in the interest of impartial and unhindered
investigations into allegations of corruptions in conducting
the mega event.
The decision to remove the two top officials was taken by
the new Sports Minister Ajay Maken, barely five days after
taking charge of the ministry.

Asked why the decision was not taken when M S Gill was
Sports Minister, the Congress spokesperson gave an evasive
reply, saying, "Precisely for this reason when as the ministry
he has exercised his powers,...the facts, circumstances as
well as rationale will be explained by them."

When told that Maken had said that the decision was taken
in the light of concerns expressed by CBI and in the interest
of impartial and unhindered probe, Tewari said, "If Sports
Minister has already provided rationale for the action, it
sets the record straight."

Sources in Congress said that no other drastic action
like expulsion or suspension of Kalmadi from the party is
likely "unless something more serious comes up."

To another question on the upcoming press conference of
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow on the issue of
black money stashed away in foreign banks, Tewari expressed
confidence that Mukherjee would put out the entire position of
the government on the issue.

When told about NCP leader P A Sangama`s reported demand
that all MPs should give a declaration that they do not have
any such black money in foreign banks, Tewari said,"As an MP,
I for one would be more than willing to sign it."

PTI