Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel, during whose term as Sports Minister in the NDA Government the Commonwealth Games were allotted to Delhi, on Monday accused the Indian Olympic Association and Delhi Government of misleading the people on the preparations for the Commonwealth Games 2010 and sought immediate constitution of a committee under the Prime Minister for overseeing the arrangements.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Mr. Goel said it was sad that over the past few days the Indian Olympic Association has been trying to create a false impression that visiting Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell was satisfied with the preparations for the Games.
Even Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had stated that the Federation members were satisfied with the arrangements. “I suspected these statements and so met Mr. Fennell at The Ashok hotel a few days ago. During the meeting, Mr. Fennell clearly stated that more than the construction of the stadiums, he was upset with the lack of coordination and work on operational issues as also the security. But he was helpless as he said these Games cannot be transferred, postponed or cancelled,’’ he added.
Mr. Goel said this was precisely what also came out during Mr. Fennell’s press meet on Monday. By announcing an independent high-level technical committee for the Commonwealth Games for monthly review of the progress of the preparations for the Games, he said the Federation chief had clearly indicated that Commonwealth Games Federation lacks confidence in the Indian team working on the preparations.
“Now it is high time we stop covering up and work out the logistics to ensure the success of the Games in a transparent manner,” Mr. Goel said.
Stating that the pride of the country was involved in the conduct of the Games, Mr. Goel said it is not a “personal endeavour” of Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi and the Delhi Chief Minister as some people were portraying it to be.
“Our focus should be clear. Public money should not be wasted and the quality norms should not be compromised as the infrastructure being created for the Games, in particular the stadiums, are also for our future generations and for the promotion of sports in the country.”
“To ensure an outstanding event and to prevent agencies from compromising standards, we demand setting up of a bipartisan monitoring committee under the Prime Minister and comprising people from the political spectrum, corporate world and professional bodies. Such a committee should also monitor the spending of all the funds, in particular the additional funds being sought by the Delhi Government in the name of delay in execution of some projects,” the senior BJP leader said.
Stating that the success of the Games was important for the country, Mr. Goel said the BJP has extend its full cooperation to the Government, but it is for the Government to spell out how it would like to utilise this support.