CWG Scam : BJP walkout over Gill's weak defence

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New Delhi, Aug 10 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday miffed with Union Sports Minister M S Gill's weak defence over allegations of corruption against the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee members, asserting that Gill has insulted Parliament by suggesting MPs should use RTI to get information about CWG preparation costs.

"The Minister has insulted the Parliament today by asking MPs to use an RTI for information on the preparations of the CWG. He said that 'if you want a reply give an RTI'. Is an RTI above the power of the Parliament?" said Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

"The House is 'the Supreme Body', how can we be asked to go down the RTI route," said the BJP leaders, who walked out of the House, demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2010 Games.

Gill assured the Lok Sabha that that the Government was ready to consider any kind of inquiry into alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games projects after the event was over.

"We are ready to consider any kind of inquiry after October 15. Our government will continue to be there after October 15. Let the focus at present be on the sportspersons when the games are not far off," said Gill.

"Nothing will be hidden or covered up. The Organising Committee is fully responsible for the games and the Government is only a backup," he added in his hour-long reply, which was repeatedly interrupted by Opposition members, who continued to pose queries on allegations of corruption and diversion of funds.

Referring to the sacking of CWG Organising Committee Joint Director General T S Darbari and suspension of some other officials, Gill said his ministry was behind these strong actions.

The Sports Minister also attacked the media saying the all the good news of the Games had been buried.

According to media reports, Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi has provided more fodder for a united opposition attack on the government.

In a report, the Times of India claimed that it had procured enough evidence to prove that Kalmadi cleared payments due to AM Films without a written contract or proper tender process.

The newspaper report alleges that more emails and faxed documents point to Kalmadi's involvement.

AM Films and AM Car and Van Hire reportedly received 247,000 pounds. Businessman Ashish Patel and Commonwealth Committee members, however, said that it was done for the 2009 Queen's Baton ceremony.

Meanwhile, following a plea by the Union Sports Ministry, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) has terminated the services of its Joint Director General T S Darbari over charges of corruption.

Darbari has been asked to hand over charge to Additional Director General VK Saxena.

The Sports Ministry said it was not pleased with just Darbari's suspension and wrote several letters to the organising committee seeking his ouster. (ANI)

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