South Asia

Delhi leader denies Commonwealth Games allegations

Sheila Dikshit
Image caption Sheila Dikshit says her government had done 'anything wrong'

The chief minister of the Indian capital, Delhi, has denied allegations of wrongdoing in the awarding of commercial contracts during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Sheila Dikshit said her government had "not done anything wrong".

Reports said an independent audit had blamed Mrs Dikshit of causing loss of public money through "ill-conceived and ill-planned [Games] projects".

The build-up to the Games was marred by allegations of sleaze and incompetence.

The chief organiser of the Games, Suresh Kalmadi, and a number of senior officials have been arrested and accused of corruption in awarding contracts for the Games. They deny any wrongdoing.

Now the Indian media is quoting the audit by Comptroller and Auditor General of India that has reportedly held Mrs Dikshit and her government responsible for undertaking "ill-conceived and ill-planned projects".

The audit reportedly also blames them for selecting consultants in an "arbitrary and non-transparent manner" and executing contracts at "exorbitant" rates.

Mrs Dikshit denied the allegations.

"We have not done anything wrong. Everything was done keeping in mind the national interest and prestige," she told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"We were entrusted with certain responsibilities and we delivered them."

Mrs Dikshit said the criticism was making her "uncomfortable", and that she would present her case when asked to.

The audit report is expected to be tabled in the parliament soon.

Mr Kalmadi was arrested in April "for conspiracy to cause favour to a company in Switzerland while procuring timers and scoring equipment for the Games", which were held last October.

Other charges against him relate to contracts at a 2009 event in London which marked the start of a baton race across Commonwealth countries, say reports.

The row over the Games is one of a series of corruption scandals that has rocked India in recent months.

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