With just 10 days to go for the Commonwealth Games, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit answers a volley of questions asked by the Hindustan Times readers on the Games preparations, the controversies involved and the chances of the success of the Games. Excerpts…
Do you think the Games should not have been organised in October?
I don't think we had a choice in this. It was the Commonwealth Games Federation, which decides (which months the Games should be organised).
Dear Chief Minister, does the buck stop with you when it comes to ensuring that the Games are held successfully? Is there any single overall authority or boss to oversee the organisation of the CWG?
The buck does not stop with me. I’m one of the cogs in the wheel. The wheel is moving. We are working in tandem now because it’s everybody’s game. It’s the country’s game.
There are so many allegations of corruption in the Games. Are you aware of them?
No, I’m not aware of it. I have heard about it. But how can anybody level corruption charges till there’s evidence from CAG, or others investigation the accusations and a verdict is decided? Delhi has a lot at stake in the Games. This time, I think there’s been some unity in diversity in putting together these Games.
People want to know what does a common man gain from these Games...
The common man is the biggest beneficiary — he’s the one who’s got the nice green buses, the pedestrian tracks, the flyovers, the health facilities, etc.
Your image is going to take a hit with this CWG fiasco. Do you care about your image in the light of such incidents...
Of course, I care about it. My past four years have gone in making sure that these games are organised well. It has not been easy, it has been a labour of love. I assure you that in spite of the negativity, I go forward with positivity. We shall overcome. If we have been wrong or gone slack, we have to pay for it now. We cannot let the country down. We go with optimism.
It’s the Congress at the Centre and in Delhi, but still such chaos prevailing... It’s not a party game.
There are things above politics. It’s a great honour to host the Commonwealth Games. Why are we all concluding that the Games are a failure even before they have started? After the Games are over, come and tell me what went wrong. Why is everybody judging the Games even before it has started?