New Delhi: In an open attack on the UPA government, BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday alleged that there was massive corruption in the preparations for the just concluded Commonwealth Games held in Delhi.
Claiming to have “concrete evidence” regarding misappropriation of funds by the agencies that were incharge of the preparations, Gadkari claimed that it was the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that had allowed the budget to shoot up to Rs 70,000 crore without questioning the need for cost escalation.
“In 2003, Rs 1899 crore was set as the budget but it shot up to Rs 70,000 cr in 2010. This increase in budget was approved by the cabinet subcommittee and the PMO,” He said, adding that the BJP wants to understand the justification for such cost escalation.
“I don’t want to get into politics, but the nation expects an answer from the Prime Minister,” he added while demanding that the Prime Minister set up a joint Parliamentary Committee to oversee the probe into the entire matter.
Making serious allegations against the government, the BJP president said that corruption money was passed on by benami companies to Swiss Bank accounts through the Mauritius route.
He also pointed out that only Rs 350 crore out of the Rs 70,000 was spent for Indian sport persons, while also pointing out that the budget approved by the Cabinet in 2007 was Rs 3866 crore.
Going into the details, Gadkari said that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had started the Games Village project as late as Oct 2007 and then missed deadline consistently.
With regards the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, he said that the cost of renovation went up to Rs 961 crore, while pointing out that, till date, the best of stadium renovations had cost Rs 100 crore.
“The price was inflated 17 times original cost. According to a 2009 report by CAG, the budget went underwent several revisions. All these revisions were approved by the cabinet subcommittee and the PMO, only then the money was released,” he said, while addressing a press conference held in the national capital.
“The Congress govt is responsible for CWG corruption. Why has not the PM verified things? Is the whole cabinet not responsible for the CWG chaos? Congress is ruling in Centre and state; then who is monitoring the spending?” he retorted.
Stressing the need for the Joint Parliamentary Probe, he said, “BJP demands that CWG probe must cover all the agencies involved, including the Centre and state agencies. All papers regarding it should be seized. All the officials concerned must be kept away from the files.”
He also revealed that the BJP has detailed information exposing corruption and will place it before the JPC. “We have documental proofs; only through the JPC can the politicians involved in the CWG corruption will be exposed,” he quipped.
“This is a very big scam in the name of sports. In the national interest we had decided to not talk about it till the games got over. The corruption is shameful,” Gadkari said.
Later when asked reporters about the I-T searches on the residence of BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, Gadkari tried to play down his relevance to the party, he said, “We are not concerned with that, let the govt take action against all those involved. Let the details come then we will talk about it.”