Allegations of rampant corruption in CWG baseless: Kalmadi

     Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi has refuted allegations of rampant corruption in the event-related projects. Kalmadi deemed media reports on suspected financial irregularities as unfounded and baseless and asserted that the Organising Committee's mandate included neither the development of infrastructure for the games nor the tendering process. "We have nothing to hide. There is total transparency in the Organizing Committee, and we have a clear conscience," said Kalmadi. Terming media reports as a malicious attempt to demoralize the officials working for the sporting extravaganza, Kalmadi maintained that all works undertaken by the committee had followed guidelines and were totally transparent. "I totally deny the allegations. Every pie is accounted for. We are hurt by this. At least the media should have come and talked to us. We would have told them what was right and what was wrong," said Kalmadi. "If we were found guilty, they could have gone ahead and showed it. We would not have minded it," he added. Kalmadi also highlighted that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee Chair Lord Sebastian Coe and other senior CWG members had visited India and were happy and satisfied with the preparations. Urging political factions and detractors to unite, Kalmadi asserted that the games could only be a success if it was a collective and combined effort by all. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lashed out at Kalmadi and the Central Government for compromising with the country's prestige. "Much before it can start, what we see is that the Commonwealth Games today is totally mired in controversy. It is not one or two aspects on which we are pointing something unusual and unacceptable," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman. "We are pointing it in every aspect of the Commonwealth games preparation, execution and leave the day when it is going to be inaugurated," he added. Reportedly, the Central Vigilance Commission had found irregularities in several Commonwealth Games related projects being carried out by civic and construction agencies in the national capital. India is expecting huge arrival of tourists in the capital for Commonwealth Games and also about 10,000 athletes from 71 teams representing 54 Commonwealth member states. The 12-day sporting extravaganza will be India's biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. The Sports Ministry has spent an additional sum of 300 million rupees to upgrade and renovate the hostels of the Delhi University, as a measure of accommodation for the Games tourist.

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