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Updated: September 22, 2010 23:55 IST

Mani Shankar Aiyar attacks Hooper, Fennell

PTI
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Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennel. The Federation chief is expected to oversee the opening of the Games Village which has come in for scathing criticism. Photo: PTI
Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennel. The Federation chief is expected to oversee the opening of the Games Village which has come in for scathing criticism. Photo: PTI

Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was the first to raise questions over the Commonwealth Games, on Wednesday attacked the Games Federation's Chief Executive, Mike Hooper, and its President Michael Fennell for their remarks over the preparations for the event.

“Fennell and Hooper were associated with [Suresh] Kalmadi since the beginning. What right do they now have to level allegations at the last minute? They are doing it just to save themselves,” Mr. Aiyar told journalists on the sidelines of a function here.

He was responding to the remarks made by Mr. Fennell and Mr. Hooper on Tuesday.

Mr. Fennell had expressed concerns over preparations at the Games Village, saying that the condition of the residential zone had “shocked” many contingents, while Mr. Hooper termed the Athletes Village “filthy and uninhabitable.”

Mr. Aiyar — who earlier had a war of words with Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi — took a jibe at him once again, saying the rain god was resolving their conflict.

“The most celebrated conflict between Kalmadi and me is being resolved by the rain god. And I will accept the verdict,” Mr. Aiyar said while delivering a speech at a ‘Let's Peace it together' programme organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre and the Indian Council of Human Relations to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

However, asked whether the rain god had listened to him on the issue, Mr. Aiyar said: “I had not prayed to the god for it.” He hoped that the image of the country did not get a beating. “Just a few days are left now. Perhaps we should have been ready by 2007 as we had promised to complete other preparations except the Games Village by then,” he said



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