Scams related to Commonwealth Games 2010 might have surfaced late last year, but the then Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had raised questions over the unusual increase in the budget for the mega event as early as in 2006.
In a series of letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh since March 2006, Aiyar had expressed his doubts over the functioning of CWG OC and sought removal of its chief Suresh Kalmadi.
An RTI reply received from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to Subhash Chandra Agrawal shows that Aiyar had written a letter dated March 9, 2006 seeking an urgent meeting with Singh to discuss the "gargantuan gap" between the expenditure projections for the games given in 2003 and the revised estimates of 2006.
"The gap is not only gargantuan, it also seems to be growing. As against the figure of Rs 150 crore for physical infrastructure projected in 2003, current estimates have been ramped up to over Rs 5,000 crore. On the organisation of the games, the 2003 projection of Rs 250 crore has already been ramped up to nearly Rs 900 core," Aiyar had pointed out.
In another letter dated October 25, 2007, Aiyar said he was "increasingly alarmed at the profligacy of OC Chairman "after learning that the 2007 Military Games in Hyderabad --in which three quarter of the total athletes and officials expected for CGW had participated -- was conducted successfully under a budget of Rs 200 crore.
The expenditure projection for CWG at that time had been increased to Rs 20,000 crore.