CAG 'slams' Dikshit, but govt says she's clean | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CAG 'slams' Dikshit, but govt says she's clean

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has refused to comment on the CAG report's allegations that various ministries of her government committed irregularities in the organisation of the Commonwealth Games.

delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2011 18:13 IST
New Delhi
In-this-file-photo-Commonwealth-Games-CWG-mascot-Shera-L-Organising-Committe-chairman-Suresh-Kalmadi-C-and-Delhi-chief-minister-Sheila-Dikshit-R-hold-the-Queen-s-Baton-as-the-baton-relay-arrives-in-New-Delhi-The-baton-relay-began-at-Buckingham-Palace-in-London-on-October-29-and-travelled-across-all-the-71-nations-and-territories-of-the-former-British-empire

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is likely to come under severe criticism after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the organisation of the Commonwealth Games was tabled before Parliament on Friday.

The report accuses various ministries of the Delhi government of irregularities and lapses in the games, which were held in October 3-14 last year. It slams the Dikshit government for stating the contracts for the Games were overpriced and delayed to make money.

Addressing the media, deputy CAG Rekha Gupta said contract management ahead of the October 2010 Games was "highly irregular" and there were numerous instances of single tendering, with contracts awarded to "ineligible vendors".

The report faults the planning of various projects and their implementation. It points a finger of suspicion at Dikshit and the Organising Committee (OC) of the Games headed by Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi, who is now in jail.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has also been named for appointing Kalmadi the OC chief despite objections from the late Sunil Dutt, who was then sports minister.

The process of tendering was inconsistent so as to favour particular bidders, Gupta told reporters while disclosing details of the report.

Stating that there was "active involvement of the (Delhi) chief minister", she said favours were granted to vendors who were not qualified.

Relations between the OC and the Indian Olympic Association, of which Kalmadi continues to be chief, were blurred, the official said.

The OC chief favoured many companies, it was disclosed. According to Gupta, the OC made "highly dubious payments" and accused it of "enormous bungling".

There were delays at all stages, Gupta said, adding that implementing agencies were "needlessly dependent on external consultants".

Besides, there was favouritism and bias in selecting brands of sports services for badminton and hockey and in the award of contracts.

There were irregularities in event management, in the contract for signages, in the procurement of health equipment and in the streetscaping work.

DIKSHIT UNDER FIRE

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded that Dikshit resign. "I think now it is the only moral duty of Dikshit that she must resign," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters ouside parliament.

"If not, the Congress high command must ask her to step down immediately and they can elect their new chief minister," he said.

Dikshit refused to speak on the report. "How can I comment? We will have to read the report. Let me go through it," she said. The Congress politician refused to comment on the opposition's demand for her resignation.

Union law minister Salman Khurshid said the CAG report has not indicted Dikshit and parliament will debate the auditor's findings.

"That (objections raised by CAG report) doesn't automatically lead to kind of things that should require people to step down," Khurshid told reporters.

"Parliament has its procedure and parliament will decide what has to be done. This is the whole purpose but for last one week we have been hearing what is in the report, and I think it is completely unacceptable that we should take a view on the report before it comes to parliament,” he said.