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Aiyar hits back, calls Maken BA Pass

Former sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar hits back at his successor Ajay Maken for accusing him of playing a part in the cost escalation of Commonwealth Games projects. Maken slams Aiyar for CWG ‘role’

delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2011 08:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Former sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday questioned the authenticity of the letter written by his successor Ajay Maken to the Prime Minister, saying it was not possible for a person with Maken’s educational qualifications to use such language.

This came a day after it was revealed, under the RTI Act, that Maken had stated in his letter that Aiyar as sports minister "ironically played an irreparable obstructionist role that led to inordinate delays" in organising the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi last October.

"It (the letter) contains words like ‘dichotomous’, which I can’t believe a BA Pass from Hansraj College would know. So, is this really written by him (Maken) or did someone else cook it up,” Aiyar said in an interview to CNN IBN. Aiyar also took a dig at Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, calling him a “Scrooge” without directly naming him.

The Congress leader said he has written to Maken to “either certify the authenticity of the newspaper reports or to send me an authentic copy of the letter, because frankly the letter he has written doesn’t seem to fit in with the character of the man I know”.

"Unless Mr Maken had a thesaurus by his side, I don’t believe he wrote those letters. Perhaps, I don’t know, may be he will let me know whether he appended his signature to a draft prepared by someone else,” he added.

Referring to Ahluwalia while dismissing the claim that he had failed to give credit to the UPA leadership for the implementation of welfare schemes, Aiyar said, "It was clear to me that without the backing of the PM, I wouldn’t have got from this Scrooge who runs the Planning Commission even Rs 600 crore a year that I managed to squeeze out of him.”

First Published: Sep 09, 2011 22:51 IST