Cong tells Sheila, Kalmadi to stop blame game

first_imgThe Congress party on Monday virtually asked Sheila Dikshit and Suresh Kalmadi, locked in an ugly public spat over allegations of corruption in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) projects, to shut up.The gag order came on a day the Group of Ministers (GoM) on CWG extended the tenure of the Games Organising Committee (OC), a step that will help facilitate investigations by various agencies into the corruption charges.”We would like everyone concerned to observe restraint,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.The inquiry ordered by the Prime Minister gives wide powers to the investigator who could recommend further inquiry by the CBI, the CVC or departmental action, the party said.Earlier in the day, the Centre ordered its officials on deputation to the Kalmadi-led OC to stay put as a probe into charges of corruption that tarred the spectacle gained momentum. The GoM on the Games headed by urban development minister Jaipal Reddy – meeting here for the first time after the Games and probably the last time after its formation – extended the tenure of the OC “until further orders”, thereby extending the stay of government officers on deputation to the committee.The GoM met in the backdrop of the spat between the Delhi CM and Kalmadi over allegations of corruption in Games projects.The meeting was attended by Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna, sports minister M.S. Gill, cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar and other senior officers, besides Dikshit and Kalmadi. Tourism minister Kumari Selja, who is out of town, could not attend the meeting.advertisementBriefing reporters after the meeting that lasted close to 50 minutes, Reddy said the GoM met in a cordial atmosphere to pass a resolution hailing the successful conduct of the Games and thanking all stakeholders. Emerging from the meeting, Dikshit and Gill declined comment.Reddy said the decision to extend the tenure of government officers serving in the OC was taken so that work left in the committee could be wound up. On the face of it, the development may appear routine. But the decision will help facilitate the probe by various agencies. Fears have been expressed in several quarters that vested interests within the OC may try to tamper with key documents.It has been left to the sports ministry to decide till which time the services of these officers will be spared. It means Gill has emerged as the PM’s trusted man and will help facilitate the probe. Jaipal Reddy, though, refused to answer any query on bungling in the Games projects, saying this was not the mandate of the GoM. Reddy also refused to answer any queries relating to bungling in the Central Public Works Department that built major stadiums. The agency is under the urban development ministry.Meanwhile, BJP president Nitin Gadkari tried to pull the PMO into the Games mess, saying it approved several files relating to the Games projects. The Congress was quick to retaliate, saying Gadkari lacked gravitas and it was below the party’s dignity to respond to him.last_img read more