Aiyar slams CWG, says hype over it ’sickening’(Second Lead)

July 27th, 2010 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Mani Shankar Aiyar New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar Tuesday let off a volley of criticism against the upcoming Commonwealth Games, saying he would be happy if the approaching Games are “spoilt” and termed the hype over it “sickening”, with just over two months to go for the showpiece event.

Hours after causing a stir by telling reporters outside parliament in the morning that he would be “unhappy” if the Games are a success, the Rajya Sabha member, speaking at another event, wondered why 150 condom vending machines are being installed at Games venue, asking: “What Games are these people coming to play?”

“What is the priority - holding an international mega sporting event or providing better sport facilities? It is distorted priority,” Aiyar said, on the sidelines of a press conference.

“The hype over the Commonwealth Games is sickening,” he added.

Aiyar said: “Our country consists of the largest youth population, yet we cannot become a sporting nation. Rather than spending over Rs.30,000 crore on CWG, if we would have given the same amount for providing better sporting facilities, we could have been like China in five years.”

The Congress leader, who is a nominated member in Rajya Sabha, continued in the same vein: “While it took 25 years for the government to announce compensation of Rs.1,500 crore for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims, it has given Rs.1,620 crore to Suresh Kalmadi for the Games over a period of time.”

He severely criticised the installation of condom machines in the Games village and across the city for the Oct 3-14 event.

“According to media reports, nearly 150 condom vending machines are to be installed, about one lakh condoms would be sold through those machines in the Commonwealth Games village alone for a few thousand athletes and officials.”

“Most of those would come without their spouses. Don’t know what games these people are coming here to play,” he added.

Earlier, outside parliament, Aiyar told reporters: “Personally, I will be unhappy if the Commonwealth Games are successful.”

“I am very happy with the rains, firstly because it will ensure a good agriculture for the country and secondly because it will ensure that the Commonwealth Games are spoilt. If the Games are successful, they will further organise Asian Games and other events… I will be happy if the Games are spoilt,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand said it would raise Commonwealth Games project delays in parliament.

“We will raise the issue of the delays in preparation for the Commonwealth Games in parliament,’ BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters outside parliament.

“It is sad the way the projects have been delayed, pushing the expenditure up. Even the preparation is not upto the mark and concerns are being raised internationally,” Javadekar added.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, however, refused to comment on the ‘personal opinion’ of the party member and said the whole world will see a successful Commonwealth Games 2010.

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