Opposition demands PM’s answer on ‘Rs.100,000 crore’ CWG scam (Lead)

August 6th, 2010 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The opposition Friday cornered the government over the Commonwealth Games scam, alleging that it was a Rs.100,000 crore “loot” of public money and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speak in the house on the issue.
Opposition MPs also sought a debate under an adjournment motion and a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into the allegations of corruption.

When Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy got up to intervene during zero hour, belligerent opposition MPs did not allow him to speak.

This led to heated exchanges between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress MPs, with the latter arguing that Reddy had a right to intervene during the debate on a matter related to his ministry.

BJP and Janata Dal-United MPs, alleging a whopping scam in the Games construction, demanded a reply from Manmohan Singh. They trooped to the well of the house forcing the speaker to adjourn the house till 2 p.m.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal criticised the opposition for not allowing the minister to speak.

“It is unprecedented and against the spirit of parliamentary democracy,” Bansal told reporters later.

Earlier, Samajwadi Party MPs, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, staged a walkout over the “wrongdoings” in the Commonwealth Games.

Raising the matter during zero hour, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta alleged that “malpractices and irregularities” have taken place in the Commonwealth Games.

“A total disorder… It is a shame,” Dasgupta said, referring to the Rs.661 crore spent only for renovation of the Indira Gandhi Stadium complex.

“This is sheer loot of public money. Who is accountable for it? What is the government doing to end the loot,” he asked.

Samajwadi Party leader Revati Raman Singh repeated the allegations and demanded a detailed discussion.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia said a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) should be constituted to probe the scandal.

Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav alleged that it is a “Rs.1 lakh crore scam”. “I will prove it. I have documentary evidence to prove it. It is being done in a very systematic manner,” Yadav stated to loud protests from ruling party MPs.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav repeated the allegation that it was a Rs.100,000 crore scam.

“It has not only tarnished the image of the country, it is an anti-national activity too,” said BJP’s Yogi Adityanath.

Kirti Azad of the BJP said: “Let the prime minister reply to this.”

Azad equated the government with Gandhari, the mother of the Kauravas in the Hindu epic Mahabharata who voluntarily blindfolded herself throughout her life.

“The government is just like Gandhari. We have personalities like Duryodhana and Shakuni too (two other characters from the epic),” he alleged.

Amidst the uproar, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam attacked the opposition MPs for levelling “baseless allegations” against the government. However, the speaker expunged some of his remarks against the opposition MPs.

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