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Guilty will be punished after CWG: Sonia
Published on 20 Aug. 2010 12:38 AM IST
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Breaking her silence on the corruption cloud surrounding the Commonwealth Games, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday said those found guilty would be punished after the Games and exhorted everyone to make the event successful.
“The Commonwealth Games are just a few days away. This is the time for all of us to come together and ensure their success. The success of the Games is that of our country - not of any party or of any individual,” Gandhi said in her address to the Congress Parliamentary Party. She said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had intervened decisively in the Games preparation.
“The prestige of the nation is involved. Let us not forget this even as we take steps to ensure accountability,” Gandhi added.
She said the government would look into allegations concerning the Games after the event was over and punish those found guilty.
“I trust that as soon as the Games are over the government will look into the allegations of malpractice and spare no one found to be involved in them,” she said.
Manmohan Singh had Saturday issued clear instructions that the facilities for the Commonwealth Games be made ready in time and meet international standards as the “eyes of the world” were on the country.
He had asked the Group of Ministers (GOM) for the Games headed by Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy to hold frequent meetings to supervise the preparations.
The prime minister had directed the concerned ministries to conduct thorough investigations into all the complaints that had been received of procedural and other irregularities and said those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment.
Kalmadi insists govt hasn’t clipped wings
Reacting sharply to suggestions that government committee’s appointment has virtually stripped him of his authority.
“There have been news reports that 10 government officers have come but they have been appointed at our request. The OC requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the final stage of the Games has come and we need government officers,” Kalmadi said.
“They have come to coordinate, they are going to support us. Everytime you say Kalmadi’s wings are being clipped. Let me tell you I am a former pilot,” the Indian Olympic Association chief remarked sarcastically.
“To put the finishing touches to the arrangement, we need the support of the government. At this stage, it is very crucial that we get all the work done in time and therefore we need senior officers from the government so that the coordination work is done quickly. This arrangement will only help us complete the task,” he added.
Kalmadi, however, acknowledged the Games preparations remain a work in progress with just 45 days to go.
“We are in the final lap in the run up to the Games. There are just 27 days left for athletes to arrive at the Games Village and 45 days left for the opening ceremony,” he said in a press conference alongside Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell, who was here on an inspection trip.
“This is short time and we have to do a lot of work. Prime Minister has said in his speech that we have to celebrate the Games as a national festival and I want to assure that the OC is going to do it’s best to live up to this dream,” he said.
“I would like to thank Mr Fennell and the CGF for all the support he has been giving since the beginning of the Games. They have given us full support. We promise to give good Games.
“We have taken over the venues and all are venue teams have gone to the venues. We have got venue commanders in place I will be going to see the venues after two days,” he said.
Kalmadi said the catering contract has been finalised and the details would be out within a few days.
“The catering contract has been finalised and the final look has also been finalised,” he said.

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