CAG report on Games ignites calls for Sheila to go (Second Lead)

August 5th, 2011 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The opposition called for Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s resignation after the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report tabled in parliament Friday alleged she was in the know of irregularities in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“I think now it is the only moral duty of Dikshit that she must resign,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters outside parliament.

“If not, the Congress high command must ask her to step down immediately and they can elect their new chief minister,” he said.

Addressing the media Friday, Rekha Gupta, deputy CAG, said contract management ahead of the Games was “highly irregular and there was Rs.30 crore wasteful expenditure with the knowledge of Dikshit.

Gupta said there were numerous instances of “single tendering” and the awarding of contracts to “ineligible vendors”. The process was inconsistent so as to favour particular bidders, she said, disclosing details of the report tabled in parliament earlier in the day.

Stating that there was “active involvement of the (Delhi) chief minister”, Gupta said favours were granted to vendors who were not qualified.

The BJP, which had already been asking for Dikshit’s resignation after the report was leaked in the media, has now upped the ante.

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said if Dikshit resigned, “it is in favour of the government of the day in Delhi, the situation has been aggravated by repeated charges of corruption”.

“This is just the beginning of a large charge of corruption against the Congress government all over and this is just one on them,” Rudy said.

While Dikshit has refused to comment, Congress leader and Law Minister Salman Khurshid had said before the report was tabled: “I will not comment until and unless I read the report.”

“That (objections raised by CAG) doesn’t automatically lead to the kind of things that should require people to step down.”

The Games took place Oct 3-14 last year in the Indian capital.

The CAG report says relations between the Organising Committee, headed by Suresh Kalmadi who is now in jail, and the Indian Olympic Association were blurred.

Gupta said the Organising Committee had made “highly dubious payments”. And pointing to “enormous bungling”, she said the CAG audited 33 entities.

There were delays at all stages, Gupta said, adding that implementing agencies were “needlessly dependent on external consultants”.

Besides, there was “favouritism and bias” in selecting brands of sports services for badminton and hockey and in the award of contracts.

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