BJP, Aiyar embarrass government on CWG (Lead)

July 27th, 2010 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Mani Shankar Aiyar New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The Commonwealth Games had the government in an embarrassing corner Tuesday with not just the BJP asserting that it would raise project delays in parliament but also its own MP Mani Shankar Aiyar declaring that he would be happy if the “Games are spoilt”.
“We will raise the issue of the delays in preparation for the Commonwealth Games in parliament,” Bharatiya Janata Party 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.

While the main opposition party’s posturing was to be expected, Congress leader Aiyar’s frank declaration took everyone by surprise.

While the Congress-led governments in Delhi and the centre pray for a successful Commonwealth Games, Aiyar said he would be “unhappy” if the Games were a success.

“Personally, I will be unhappy if the Commonwealth Games are successful,” Aiyar, a nominated Rajya Sabha member, told reporters outside parliament.

“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,” Aiyar said candidly.

“If the Commonwealth Games are successful, they will further organise Asian Games and other events… I will be happy if the Games are spoilt,” he said.

Aiyar said the funds spent for the Oct 3-14 Games could have been utilised for ensuring a better sporting future for Indian children by providing them sports training.

“Just imagine if we would have spent the Rs.35,000 crore (USD 8,000)in providing training to the children, we would have won medals in every international sporting event.”

The former union minister, who was nominated to Rajya Sabha after he lost the Lok Sabha election from Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu, also alleged that India has bribed other Commonwealth nations for the Games.

“To take the Games, the Olympic association of every Commonwealth country was given $1 lakh ($100,000); it was given to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Britain. Those countries did not need this money,” he said. “I would call it a bribe, I don’t know what it is called from the legal point of view.”

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.

“Honourable Mani Shankar Aiyar is a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, I will not comment on his personal opinion,” Tewari told reporters.

“The Commonwealth Games is a matter of pride for the entire nation and when it will be executed the whole world will see successful Games,” Tewari said.

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