‘He is searching for excuses to justify the cost escalation'

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a swipe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that even the Prime Minister's personal “mopping up mission” would not help in cleaning the stigma of corruption attached to the preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

Hinting at Dr. Singh's recent visit to one of the stadiums to personally take stock of the situation — following the apprehension of delay in preparing for the Games, which are scheduled for October — Mr. Modi criticised the Congress-led UPA government for “shaming the nation in the corruption index.”

“The preparatory works could not be completed in four years and the Prime Minister is searching for excuses to justify the cost escalation from the original Rs. 69 crore to Rs. 45,000 crore,” Mr. Modi said.

In sharp contrast, he added, the Veer Savarkar Sports Complex here was completed in just 18 months.

Speaking after the dedication of the U.N. Mehta Super Speciality Hospital and the foundation-laying for an Ultra-Tech Hospital and Emergency Care and Trauma Centre at the New Civil Hospital complex here, Mr. Modi said a healthy competition between the Central and State governments on developmental projects was good as the benefit ultimately went to the nation.

“But the present Central government is only busy with the Commonwealth Games and gathering ‘common wealth' and is not concerned about the common man,” he said.

“Shed concern for the ‘common wealth' and pay attention to the common man's health and other pressing issues,” he added.

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