Crucial dates on Kalmadi’s appointment escaped CAG’s gaze: Congress

August 9th, 2011 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Raising questions over the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report on alleged irregularities in Commonwealth Games projects, the Congress said crucial dates relating to Suresh Kalmadi’s appointment as the Games Organising Committee chief had escaped its attention, and termed CAG functioning as “pips, leaks and squeaks”.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari asked if the CAG had the remit to comment on an appointment process as also the policy choices.

“Does the CAG have the remit to comment on an appointment process as also the policy choices which a government make or may not make and when it chooses to comment on the appointment process in the context of the Commonwealth Games, it errs,” he said.

Tewari said there were three main crucial dates which somehow escaped the CAG’s attention.

The dates were Sep 11, 2003, when the host city contract for the CWG was approved by the cabinet; Nov 13, 2003, when the host city contract was signed; and Nov 1, 2004, when the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) general assembly, “which consisted of many eminences of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance)”, decided to elect Kalmadi as chairperson of the organising committee.

“Were these omissions intentional or was it a case of oversight or whether the CAG chose to overlook these three very important events - two of which took place during the NDA’s time? I think it is a legitimate question to ask since the CAG has suo-moto decided to amplify its remit,” Tewari said.

He said the Prime Minister’s Office had no role in Kalmadi’s appointment and it had been presented with a fait accompli by the documents or the contracts which had been signed by the NDA government.

Asked about the PMO’s involvement in the light of a communication of December 2004, Tewari argued the narration is completely erroneous.

“By selectively picking up a particular communication, out of a chain of events and then trying to distort it so that it is handy in pointing fingers at somebody, I think, it is wrong way of doing it,” he said.

Answering a query if the CAG had filed a police complaint about leakage of its report, he said its functioning could be summed up as “pips, leaks and squeaks”.

He said here that the CAG report does not make “whisper of insinuation” against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on issues of probity.

“The CAG report in case of Commonwealth Games… does not even make a whisper of insinuation against the chief minister insofar as it pertains to probity. If at all there is an observation with regard to an alleged financial loss which may or may not have been caused, I think that is what the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) needs to look into. So, therefore, coming to finite conclusions when the process is still evolving, I think possibly is just the wrong way of doing it,” Tewari said.

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said the party was quiet about the CAG reports relating to its governments in Uttarakhand and Gujarat.

“What does BJP have to say about CAG report with regard to Uttarakhand government having caused a loss of Rs.44 crore in holding Maha Kumbh?” Tewari asked.

“Is there going to be one standard insofar as the CAG reports with regard to Congress governments are concerned and a completely different standard where the CAG has held BJP governments as culpable?” he added.

He said a CAG report had also talked of cost overruns, losses and wasteful expenditure of Rs.1,998 crore by the Uttar Pradesh government.

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