Leading a demonstration by the Citizen Forum for Commonwealth Games at Jantar Mantar against alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games preparations, former Union Minister Vijay Goel on Thursday demanded resignation, on moral grounds, of all the members of the Executive Board of the Organising Committee headed by Suresh Kalmadi.
Mr. Goel also pooh-poohed the manner in which only the joint director general of the Commonwealth Games' Organising Committee T.S. Darbari and the head of the committee's finance and accounts wing M. Jeychandran were suspended on Thursday for their role in deals which had come under a scanner. ``How can Mr. Kalmadi himself stay put at the helm of affairs, when he is also accused in the whole case?’’ he asked.
Claiming that he was the first person to raise the issue of corruption in the Games preparations, Mr. Goel said he had also raised the issue before the Organising Committee and at various public fora. ``Now one by one the shady deals are coming into the open,’’ he said.
Holding Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit equally responsible for the ``troubles and travails’’ related the with the corruption in Games preparations, Mr. Goel demanded that Commonwealth Games funds utilization.
Stating that Mr. Kalmadi’s continuation at the helm of the Organising Committee would harm the ``good image of the country’’, the BJP leader demanded that he should be forced out of the post and be replaced with a Minister. ``When precedent had been set during Asian Games when Cabinet Minister Buta Singh was made in-charge of the Games then why was Mr. Kalmadi, who is not a Minister, was made president of the Executive Board?’’ he asked.
The demonstrators had also carried with them a tableau which depicted Mr. Kalmadi eating ``Commonwealth Games money’’.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, whose dummy was shown standing next to that of Mr. Kalmadi, and Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill were also criticized by Mr. Goel for leading to this situation of chaos and plunder.