Is Mani Shankar Aiyar equally to blame for the CWG mess?

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Samir Sachdeva | August 5, 2010



"I am very happy with the rains, firstly because it will ensure a good agriculture for the country and secondly because it will ensure that the Commonwealth Games are spoilt," said Mani Shankar Aiyar, the former minister for youth affairs and sports, in one of the developments on status of the Games unfolding before the country in recent times. Though everyone is talking about non completion of various projects and lack of quality control in the work getting delivered, is it that Mani Shankar Aiyar is equally to blame?

As sports minister Aiyar delayed the various projects for Commonwealth Games for over two years which lead to cost escalation of over 1700 crores. He sat on the files for approval of various projects or referred the same to bodies like the finance commission or group of ministers (GoM) leading to bureaucratic delays.

Aiyar may now be contending that an Asiad-like panel is needed to monitor various organisations working on CWG, including the organizing committee. His criticism of people associated with CWG leads one to believe that there is more to Games than it meets the eye.

So, was it a power struggle between Aiyar (the then sports minister) and Kalmadi that lead the former to stall all projects and become a persona-non-grata for the OC? It’s unusual for a former sports minister to be anti-sports in the manner Aiyar has presented himself. The two years delay on starting of the projects during his tenure has delayed almost all projects. So, is it not that the Congressman-turned-conscience-keeper is equally responsible for leaking roofs, broken slabs and other malfunctions in various venues of the Commonwealth Games?

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