Pune MP and former chairman of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) Suresh Kalmadi said in a statement on Sunday that he had not gained ‘even a single rupee' out of the games and if proved ‘otherwise,' was prepared to step down as MP.
Embroiled in allegations of corruption, the Games contracts are now under CBI investigation. Five people have been arrested so far, while Mr. Kalmadi too has been interrogated by the CBI.
‘Pained at the malicious campaign' against him, Mr. Kalmadi said that all the media bashing was far from ‘facts.'
The statement follows several media reports stating that the CBI had tracked an email that proved Mr. Kalmadi got ‘kickbacks' from AM Films based in London, one of the firms named in connection with irregularities in the Queen's Baton Relay (QBR).
The Hindu received the statement from Mr. Kalmadi's office in Pune.
Mr. Kalmadi, who was sacked as the Chairman of the OC recently, reiterated his stand that the budget for conducting the games was only just about 5 per cent of the total budget of the Commonwealth Games.
“Inspite of this I am the only one who have been singled out and targeted for investigations,” he said.
He alleged that the role of all other government agencies connected with the decision-making process, and associated with 95 per cent of the budget, have been ‘completely overlooked.'
Mr. Kalmadi said all the decisions related to the Games were taken collectively and there were also government nominees overseeing every process.
Demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the entire range of issues connected with ‘preparations, execution and conduct of the Commonwealth Games,' Mr. Kalmadi stated that this would bring out the truth.
“With paucity of time on one side and reputation of the country on the other, there were pressures to complete and achieve the target and meet the deadline of 3 October 2010,” the statement read.
“The sports fraternity — from athletes to officials and international media — has lauded the success of the Games and termed it the best ever CWG. Yet, my reputation has been greatly harmed by the continuous allegations of wrongdoing with regular media bashing,” Mr. Kalmadi said.
He, however, admitted that there might have been certain mistakes committed in the management, as the committee, not having hosted any big event like this after the Asiad 1982, lacked the requisite experience and knowhow. Although he added, “Attaching the corruption charge on me is totally unfair.”