As the Opposition pounded the Government for alleged corruption in the preparation for the Commonwealth Games, Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy assured the Lok Sabha that, “We will be staging the best Commonwealth Games ever in the history.”
Defending the huge amount of money spent, he said most of the money has been spent on infrastructure development which will remain as the country’s legacy long after the games are over.
“If you furnish and paint your house before your daughter’s wedding, then the money spent on that cannot be said to be part of the dowry,” he said, intervening during a debate in the Lok Sabha.
Earlier, BJP MP Kirti Azad, who began the debate, said, “The stadiums are not ready, Flats are not ready. What kind of a big fat wedding is this? Some of the best players are not willing to come to Delhi because of these corruption charges. Baraat aane wali hai par na mandap tayyar hai aur na dulhan (The wedding is about to be solemnised but neither the decorations have been completed not is the bridegroom ready),” he said.
Dispelling the picture of doom, Reddy asked for the support of all parties to help make the Games a success. “All of us, cutting across party lines, should rise to make the Games successful and spectacular.”
Reddy admitted there might be irregularities in the CWG-related projects, and promised action against all guilty people after the Games got over.
“I cannot say no irregularities have taken places. All irregularities, when brought to notice, will be inquired and the guilty punished. All irregularities will be inquired into exhaustively and the corrupt will be pursued till the end of the Earth.”
Reddy, however, rubbished claims of leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav that the government had blown up Rs 1 lakh crore for the games.
“We are living in a system. Such claims are made with absolute abandon. By no stretch of imagination can it be true. It does not speak well of our maturity,” said Reddy.
Reddy said a total of Rs 28,054 crore had been spent, of which Rs 16,560 crore was given to the Delhi Government to upgrade the capital infrastructure. Reddy said, of the total money given to the Delhi Government, only Rs 670 crore has been spent directly on the Games—that, too, on building the stadia.
Reddy said the government had only given Rs 2,394 crore as loan to the CWG Organising Committee, “Which is to be returned after the Games.” CWG OC chief Suresh Kalmadi, who is a Congress MP, was present during the debate.
Replying to the Opposition members who cited the Central Vigilance Commission’s findings to demand a probe by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC), Reddy said, “We all know that the CVC and other constitutional bodies do their job, but if every primary observation is blown up to a scam then we cannot function.”