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Kalmadi takes ‘blame’ for CWG mess
Published on 26 Sep. 2010 12:11 AM IST
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After days of dithering, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi Saturday took the “blame” for the mess surrounding the Oct 3-14 event but said there was no question of resigning from the post.
In one more positive step, the police said the security lockdown of the Games venues was almost complete.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell, however, blew hot and cold, saying the controversies around the Games had dented India’s image but that “we all have to share the blame”.
He also said the Games would see the full participation of all 71 nations and territories. The BJP partly echoed Fennell as it attacked the Congress-led UPA government and the games organizing committee for bringing disrepute to the country due to poor preparations.
The PMO too stepped in once again, denying reports that Manmohan Singh had pulled up the Group of Ministers in charge of the Commonwealth Games for the delays and the shoddy work regarding the event. A statement issued by the PMO said: “Such reports are misleading”.
In another development Saturday, the government announced that the capital’s airspace would be closed between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the opening and closing days of the Games but routine commercial flights would not be affected.
Addressing a packed media conference at the swanky Main Press Centre of the CWG, Kalmadi said: “The role of the Organising Committee is the conduct of the Games. I am not involved in the construction. Construction is not my responsibility. Yes, monitoring is my responsibility. As OC chairman, we take all the blame on us. But venues were handed to us late.”
When prodded by the foreign media, Kalmadi shot back that not everything was hunky dory at previous Games like in Manchester in 2002.
Referring to the Games village, which on Tuesday had been described as “filthy and unlivable”, a beleaguered Kalmadi, with Michael Fennell and CGF CEO Michael Hooper sitting alongside, said: “There were some problems with some of the towers and the cleaning up is being done. We are trying our best. You talk to me after the Games.”
Speaking about the security lockdown, a Delhi Police officer said: “The roads leading to Games venues and Village have been barricaded.”

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