Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Ajay Maken on Monday stood by his statement that Suresh Kalmadi's appointment as CWG Organising Committee chief was “stamped and sealed” by the NDA regime and said he was “appalled and surprised” by the privilege motion the Opposition moved against him in Parliament.
Mr. Maken told journalists outside Parliament that he was willing to give any clarification on the statement he made in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Since he was not given an opportunity to air his views, he was forced to lay the statement on the table of the House.
Mr. Maken said that instead of talking outside the House, they should have sought a clarification from him when he was in Parliament last week. “I am shocked to see that instead of seeking clarification on my statement, they are busy creating a ruckus in the House, not letting me reply and then giving a breach of privilege notice against me. This is something which is unfortunate, and if they allow me to speak in Parliament, I can give a reply…”
Mr. Maken asserted that he still stood by the facts he had presented in his statement and said the Host City contract, signed when the NDA was in power, led to the installation of Mr. Kalmadi — now jailed for corruption in the conduct of the Games — as chairman of the organising committee. “The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on November 1, 2004, benefiting from the … contract, elected — not selected, not recommended — Mr. Kalmadi as Organising Committee chairman, and the people who elected him… were Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Abhay Chautala, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Tarlochan Singh, all from the NDA,” he said.
Referring to the reports on alleged involvement of the Prime Minister's Office in Mr. Kalmadi's appointment, Mr. Maken said: “I have gone through all the papers and documentation. The PMO could not have done anything else, because the fate, as far as the Organising Committee is concerned, was sealed on November 13, 2003.”
On September 11, 2003, Mr. Maken said, the NDA government decided that the IOA be empowered to form the Organising Committee, and … empowered by this Host City contract, the IOA elected Mr. Kalmadi as Organising Committee chairman on November 1, 2004. So, the PMO could not have done anything other than this.”
He maintained that his clarification did not mean that anyone found guilty would be spared. “Anyone found guilty, he or she, would be taken to task. No one would be spared… The government has already filed 11 cases. If necessary, more cases will be filed.”