Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Games over, punish those who looted India

The knives are out in Congress

Within days of the Commonwealth Games getting over, the Prime Minister’s Office ordered a full-fledged inquiry into the ‘conduct’ of the sporting event which has cost the country’s taxpayers anything between Rs 70,000 crore and Rs 1,00,000 crore. The official estimate of Rs 27,000 crore is misleading since it does not take into account ‘miscellaneous’ expenditure: For instance, perfectly good pavements were torn up and relaid, and relaid yet again; plants that cost Rs 50 at nurseries in upmarket areas are believed to have been purchased at Rs 1,000 each; and, money meant for Dalit welfare has been diverted for building flyovers. Examples abound of the effort that has gone into making Delhi shine. The inquiry ordered by the PMO will be conducted by a committee headed by former CVC VK Shungloo, an officer known for his impeccable integrity.

With the CAG, the CVC, the CBI, the ED and now the PMO gunning for those who looted the nation in the name of the Commonwealth Games and used ‘national pride’ as a cloak to cover their misdeeds, the knives are out. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has pointed a not-so-dainty finger at Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, suggesting that he is to blame for the loot.

Mr Kalmadi has not wasted time in hitting back. He has pointed out that Ms Dikshit was in charge of all construction-related work and her budget was a whopping Rs 16,000 crore while his was a measly Rs 1,600 crore. It is indisputable that much of the loot happened under Ms Dikshit’s watch. The other agency involved in the preparations for the Games was the Union Urban Development Ministry. It has a lot to answer for, too.

The Congress, alarmed by the prospects of a free-for-all, has promptly issued gag orders. That has not prevented Mr Kalmadi, who, as photographs published in Mail Today point out, has a new swagger to his walk while Ms Dikshit looks distinctly worried, from reiterating his charges and asserting that the Delhi Chief Minister can’t escape responsibility.

Meanwhile, the CAG and the CVC have reopened investigations into projects undertaken by the Delhi Government. The CBI has taken files from the OC office into its custody. The ED has launched proceedings against the OC for inexplicably inflated payments. The Income Tax Department has raided the premises of firms that were given contracts for infrastructure-related work. Among the offices that were raided on Tuesday are those of Sudhansu Mittal, known for his proximity to certain senior BJP leaders, at least one of them a member of Delhi4.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari has called for a JPC inquiry. Although a joint parliamentary committee weighed heavily in favour of the Congress is unlikely to do more than a cover-up job (recall the JPC’s report on the Bofors scandal), it’s an idea worth pursuing. At least a lot of details will become public and those who have had their snouts in the trough will be outed.

In mid-August Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised that those guilty of wrongdoing would be handed out “severe and exemplary punishment”. The nation expects him to keep his promise.

India deserves far better than a tacky closing ceremony that reminded me of Sports Minister MS Gill telling mediapersons not to worry about the poor and tarred preparations, assuring them the Games would be like a “big fat Punjabi wedding”.


uthamanarayanan said...

After 2G, now another loot and opposition as usual doing its democratic duty, which as usual will be attacked by loyalists of the dynastic family and ignoramuses like me at least know even before this 'Tamasha ' know what might or would have happened in this process of looting and how Kalmadi might have done all this with due shares given to one and all since this monumental looting could not have been done without sharing the loot; if said thus now, every one would draw the sword and try to attack the opposition saying this is 'baseless and casting aspersions ' on the highest office of administration in this country.One thing is for sure,now corruption is touching to the tune of one hundred thousand crores level- sure sign of 'India emerging'.What a bachelor like me is dismayed is , when I was young and a college student in 70's I thought one day my country would also be a country without poor or at least everyone would have basic needs met, now I realize I am a fool not accepting the foreign chance of working there and settled there .Now a bachelor who crossed five decades hoping my country would be a land of poor getting their food three times a day is dismayed and disheartened, and regret having lived in this country and pity and empathize the parents who might think this country is worthless fit to be ruled by only goods and looters. Only light at the end of the tunnel of my hope is, at least we have some Modis who are the best administrators who are there to sacrifice their personal life to improve this otherwise desperate country. Let us hope at least many Modis will emerge from the educated youngsters of this country.

sunaath said...

Are you day dreaming? Kalmadi is just a fall guy. The real looters are on the top of the power ladder. I suspect CBI has some hidden intention in siezing the documents at supersonic speed!

Anonymous said...

It is highly doubtful that anyone would be punished. The enquiry will go on and on like Ayodhya, Bhopal or the 2G scam. Here the people involved are Congressmen mostly and there is no doubt that they will be protected. All kinds of diversionary tactics will be used and if possible opposition members will be implicated! You can watch Manish Tiwari's fangs day after day on the TV screen

Dan said...

What's the inside story on the PMO aggressively setting agencies behind Kalmadi, Sheila and co? Is it to save public face or is it pre-empt the media for un-earthing more garbage? Or is it to cut some unpleasant, unwated colleagues to size?

Unknown said...

Kanchan da,

Absolutely right.

And these CAG, CVC, CBI, Congress Party are running after Sudeendra instead of Dikshit. Bloody sell outs.

Gadkari ji is absolutely right in demanding a JPC on this CWG Scam.

Truth Always Wins said...

The closing ceremony was a joke. The martial arts specialist were as confused as MMS in PMO. They just ran around helter skelter and not one showed any martial arts prowess. The closing show was a disaster.

seadog4227 said...

I find it most significant that all media outlets have downplayed/ trivialized the statement of the BJP on the CWG.
It is obvious that such large funds and such a large project such as the CWG required and, indeed, had complete top level involvement including the PMO and the CM.
Therefore, to focus repeatedly on the hapless, pathetic Kalmadi is clearly meant to misguide the public. Not once, repeat not once, has Times Now or CNN-IBN mentioned the word "Congress" in any of their engagements, interviews or statements with regard to the CWG imbroglio. The demented Vinod Mehta stated "Sonia is not involved" when nobody asked him about her.This is a telling statement of media complicity. On the Rs 40,000/- crore Spectrum scam, Prabhu Chawla's inane statement was "we (media) have no proof", despite CAG reports and CBI investigations, and taped conversations to the contrary.
As in the Spectrum scam, the entire ELM has fallen in line behind the Kkangress in the CWG scam.