Commonwealth Games - India to probe Commonwealth problems

Sat, 16 Oct 17:33:00 2010

The Indian government has ordered a probe into allegations of graft and mismanagement that plagued the recent 3.75 billion Commonwealth Games, government officials have said.

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An official familiar with developments told The Hindustan Times that the government is determined to hold officials to account for a botched build-up to the Games, which concluded on Thursday.

"Irregularities would not be glossed over," Manish Tewari, spokesperson for the ruling Congress party said.

Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, widely blamed for a raft of blunders that marred preparations for the 12-day gathering, promised his full support to the panel set up to investigate allegations of graft and mismanagement that plagued the recent Games.

Kalmadi was jeered at both the opening and closing ceremonies in the Indian capital despite the home nation's successful showing that culminated with a second place finish in the medals table behind Australia.

"The honourable prime minister has appointed a committee to probe into all matters relating to the Commonwealth Games," Kalmadi said in a statement on Saturday. "We welcome the initiative and hope that it will be comprehensive.

"The organising committee will be happy to provide all support to the panel."

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised in August to probe irregularities after corruption charges, health and security issues and mismanagement threatened to turn the Delhi Games into a 3.75 public relations disaster, salvaged only after a mad scramble by the embarrassed government.

The anti-corruption agency of the government identified 16 Games-related project where large-scale irregularities were suspected and three senior organising committee officials were suspended on corruption charges.


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