South Asia

MP urges India Games boss to quit if implicated

Suresh Kalmadi on 8 August 2010
Image caption Suresh Kalmadi denies any wrong-doing

A senior Congress party leader has said the Commonwealth Games' organising committee chief must quit "on moral grounds" if implicated in corruption.

Digvijay Singh said Suresh Kalmadi should step down if a case is brought against him for alleged wrong-doing.

Media exposes in the last few weeks have named Mr Kalmadi in several corruption cases.

Mr Kalmadi denies the claims and has written a letter to MPs defending himself. He has not been charged.

An inquiry last year by India's anti-corruption agency, the Central Vigilance Commission, alleged irregularities in many Games-related projects.

"The Central Vigilance Commission has handed over a case to the CBI [India's Central Bureau of Investigation]. Prima facie, if there is indeed a case against Suresh Kalmadi then he should resign on moral grounds," Mr Singh told reporters.

He is the second Congress MP to comment on the allegations against Mr Kalmadi.

MP and former sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar recently said he would be "unhappy" if the Games were successful. He said only "evil" would support the Games.

Several opposition MPs have criticised Mr Kalmadi in parliament and demanded a parliamentary inquiry into the allegations.

The Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in the Indian capital, Delhi, from 3 to 14 October.

The authorities have been building new stadiums, renovating existing sport facilities, creating infrastructure and beautifying the city.

But there have reports of several projects missing deadlines, corruption in allotment of contracts and leaking stadium roofs.

Last week, the treasurer of the Games, Anil Khanna, resigned over allegations of graft.

Three other senior Games officials - joint directors general TS Darbari and M Jeyachandran, and deputy director general Sanjay Mohindroo - were suspended following an investigation into financial irregularities.

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