Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was the first to raise questions over Commonwealth Games, today attacked Games Federation Chief Executive Mike Hooper and its President Michael Fennell for their remarks against preparations for the event.
"Fennel and Hooper were associated with Kalmadi since beginning. What right they now have to level allegations at the last minute. They are doing it just to save themselves," Aiyar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He was responding to the remarks made by Fennel and Hooper yesterday. Fennell had expressed concerns over the Games Village preparation, saying that the condition of the residential zone there has "shocked" many contingents, while Hooper termed the Athletes Village as "filthy and uninhabitable".
Aiyar, who had a war of words with with the Games Organizing Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi earlier, once again took a jibe at him saying the rain god is resolving the conflict between them. The "most celebrated conflict between Kalmadi and me is being resolved by rain god.
And I will accept the verdict," he said while delivering a speech at a programme "Let's Peace it together" organized by India Islamic Cultural Centre and Indian Council of Human Relations to celebrate International Day of Peace. Asked whether the rain god listened to him in this issue, Aiyar, however, hastened to add," I had not prayed to the God for it".
He at the same time said this is a tough situation and he is worried that the image of the country does not get a beating. "Just a few days are left now. Perhaps we should have been ready by 2007 as we had promised to complete all other preparations except the Commonwealth village by then."
Aiyar's remarks came a day after the government already under attack over preparations and cleanliness at the Games Village, faced further embarrassment when an under-construction foot over bridge collapsed which was followed by a false ceiling falling apart at a Games venue.
Touching on the issue of Kashmir, Aiyar said that the separatists were always in minority in the Valley but the majority today has been alienated by "brutal use of lethal bullets" against youths and children there.
He rued that the peace period in the Valley was not used gainfully. "We have had many years of peace. We did not avail of the opportunity to reach out to elements whom we are now trying to reach in this hour of crisis," Aiyar said.