`PC ignored warning on CWG expenditure`

Former Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday blamed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for failing to prevent the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Former Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday blamed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for failing to prevent the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam as he ignored warnings about high-handed behaviour of CWG Organising Committee (CWG-OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi.
According to reports, Aiyar, in an interview to a private news channel, informed that he had written a letter to Chidambaram, who was then Union Finance Minister, about the unethical manner in which the CWG-OC led by Kalmadi was spending money in the name of preparations for the mega sporting events.

"My letters of complaint were neither acknowledged nor acted upon by Chidambaram, who was the Finance Minister till 2007," Aiyar was quoted as saying.

"Prithviraj Chavan, who was then Minister of State in PMO, also initially alerted me that I should be careful about releasing funds for CWG," Aiyar reportedly informed adding, "The present Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi, who was my secretary in the sports ministry, also shared my concerns against wasteful expenditure in CWG."
Aiyar, who shot off the letter in Dec 5, 2007, to the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram, had questioned the manner in which the CWG-OC was spending thousands of crores of Rupees in the pretext of preparations for the 2010 Games.

Aiyar had requested the Finance Ministry to remove the Sports Ministry from the procedure of allotment of funds to the CWG Organising Committee.

However, it failed to evoke any response from Chidambaram. Aiyar had also sent a written complaint about Kalmadi to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The content of Aiyar’s letter, which is now in media houses, explains how the law of the land proved weaker in front of Suresh Kalmadi, enjoying huge clout. It has been revealed how the Sports Ministry was arm-twisted to release funds. Kalmadi used to manage orders to release funds directly from the Finance Ministry without even giving proper account of the expenses.
Owing to the fresh details coming out in the open about the controversial CWG Games,
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently asked the Sports Ministry for "relevant details" regarding the letters written by Aiyar on last year`s sporting events.

“The letters written by Mani Shankar Aiyar referred to in a news item....are in the public domain....The Prime Minister has asked the Sports Ministry to provide relevant details in this regard," a statement from the PMO said.

The statement also made a reference to Singh`s remarks on the subject during his interaction with the editors recently.

"...Mani Shankar Aiyar wrote to me, but he wrote to me on purely ideological grounds--he was opposed to spending that much money on hosting the CWG. We should be doing more in other sectors. He (Aiyar) did not bring to me anything wrong that was being done," Singh had said during the interaction.

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