Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports M.S. Gill on Tuesday assured the Lok Sabha that all was well with the preparations for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and the event would be held with grandeur. “Everyone is concerned over the preparedness as it related to the country's image,” he said, responding to allegations of corruption in holding the Games.
At one stage, Mr. Gill's remark that the Opposition could file RTI (right to information) applications and get information on the expenditure provoked parties, particularly the BJP.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the Minister was “insulting” the House. She wondered whether Mr. Gill meant to say that RTI was superior to Parliament. Later, she along with L.K. Advani, Gopinath Munde and other BJP members, walked out shouting slogans seeking a JPC probe into the “CWG scam.”
Earlier, Mr. Gill said he believed that “full public scrutiny ensures public confidence” and he pursued a policy — “let the people know, let the people judge.” It was his Ministry that ordered the suspension of two officials of the CWG Organising Committee after allegations of irregularities were made against them. “There is no question of trying to hide anything.” Whatever be the nature of complaint, it would be looked into.
On alleged exchange of huge money to a travel agency in the United Kingdom in relation to the programme organised for the Queen's Baton Relay, he said the Enforcement Directorate was asked to do a thorough probe on the matter and he was not going to give any judgment over it.
The Minister sought the Opposition's cooperation for the success of the Games. Instead of levelling charges, they could take up issues that would be encouraging to sports personnel so that the country could gain more medals, he said.
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) charged the government with distancing itself from its responsibilities towards Parliament. Nama Nageswara Rao (TDP) wanted to know the reason for a “150 per cent” increase in the construction costs. The Opposition members also alleged that special component funds were diverted for CWG expenditure