Sacked chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi sprang a surprise on Sunday.
He demanded that a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) be set up to probe allegations of irregularities in organising the mega sporting event in October last year.
So far, it was only the Opposition that was demanding a JPC probe into the scam-ridden Games. Coming on the eve of the budget session, the Pune MP's demand is certain to provide a boost to the Opposition's campaign against corruption.
"Were the government to agree to the constitution of a JPC into the 2G spectrum issue it would only be fair that a similar process of JPC should go into the entire range of issues connected with preparations, execution and conduct of the Commonwealth Games. I am confident that this would enable the entire truth to emerge in the public domain," said a statement issued by Kalmadi.
What is likely to further embarrass the Congress is the fact that unlike the 2G scam, which embroiled alliance partner DMK and the Antrix-Devas deal which involved bureaucrats, Congressmen and leaders responsible for organising the Games.
A probe into the Games could bring all of them under the scanner of investigative agencies. Kalmadi's statement on Sunday hinted as much.
"I can vouch that I have not gained financially even a single rupee out of these Games and if proved otherwise I am prepared to step down as MP," he said.
"The OC budget for conducting the games was just about 5 percent of the total budget of the CWG. In spite of this, I am the only one who has been singled out and targeted for investigations while the role of all other government agencies including the Delhi government and various other Central Government instrumental agencies connected with the decision-making process, who have been associated with 95 percent of the budget, have been completely overlooked," the statement said.
Apparently pained by reports of his alleged involvement in games-linked irregularities, Kalmadi said he would resign as MP if any proof of his having taken a single rupee surfaces.
The disgraced former OC chairman, however, admitted that there were mistakes made on the organisational front of the Games but it was understandable as it was hosting a multi-sporting event for the first time after the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.