SHORT DURATION DISCUSSION ON STATEMENT REGARDING COMMONWEALTH GAMES, 2010 AND THE DEVELOPMENTS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE THEREAFTER….
09 August, 2011
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (SHRI ARUN JAITLEY): Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, some days ago a newspaper item appeared in a section of the media as to what the Comptroller and Auditor General was likely to say. As soon as that news appeared, -- because the finger was pointing to the Office of the Prime Minister,--
a nervous PMO, got our friend, Mr. Ajay Maken, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to make a hurried statement that very day.
(Continued by PB/1C)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): The statement deals with the structure under which the Commonwealth Games were conducted. Sir, I have my full admirations, as also sympathies, for my friend, Mr. Maken, for more than one reason. There is no impropriety that he did in connection with the Games. I have sitting in front of me, at least, two former Ministers who were, if I may call them, the vigilant and the moral objectors. They were the ‘whistleblowers’ who were trying to object to what was going on, and, curiously, they both went out of Government. But, Sir, Mr. Maken’s statement reveals very little. It conceals much more, and one of the questions that really arises is, why does it conceal so much of information in relation to the Games and tries to side-step the real issue as to how the structure for the Commonwealth Games is really created? Sir, the Commonwealth Games were a major international event. There was a larger objective that one such international event is held in a city like Delhi; you are able to showcase India to the rest of the world; you are able to promote Indian sportspersons and then gradually try and emerge as a world’s sporting power. Sir, it is the regret of everyone in this country that what was intended to be a major international sporting event converted itself into a massive scandal due to the manner in which the structure of the Games was created, the manner in which various executing agencies were empowered to go ahead and award contracts, the large sum of taxpayers’ money which was spent on various projects, and the disproportionately high costs at which the projects were undertaken. And, these are all kinds of agencies. You had the Sports Authority of India; you had the CPWD; you had the NDMC; you had the DDA; you had the Government of Delhi. Each one of these agencies which organized these various projects spelt literally thousands of crores on each one of them. How much of this money has been squandered away, how much of this money has been usurped, still remains a major national concern, and we find today that by a statement of this kind, an effort is being made to conceal as to who are really responsible. Sir, let us look at the magnitude of what has happened. You had projects which were not completed. You had stadiums which were not completed by the time the Games were over. Your stadiums, which were to be built for the Games, are not even completed today, literally one year after the Games. You have major streets and areas of Delhi like Connaught Place which are still under construction where money was to be spent for the Games. You had the so-called beautification drive of Delhi where you spent money; you uprooted them and then you again spent money. Sir, the Prime Minister has made a statement immediately after the Games that ‘be you ever so high, you will not be spared; the law is above you; nobody will be spared.’ But from the reports which are coming out what now appears is that there is a structured effort of the Government that the buck of the Commonwealth Games must stop with only one man, the one person who by taking some route and by using some influence became the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.
(Contd. by 1d.SKC)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (contd.): It is too big a scandal, Sir, for the buck to stop at one man. Whether it is the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi or it is the Central Government through its various agencies, none of them must escape responsibility. And, if heads are to roll in this, it must be the heads of these Governments because they are the ones who were really entrusted with the primary responsibility as far as the people of India are concerned.
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Sir, the Minister's statement merely says that there was an Organizing Committee that was set up. This is a statement made in the House. There were statements that he made outside, and I am entitled to refer to the statements made outside also because when the House is in Session, every word of what a Minister says has to be taken into consideration. It meant, 'We had to create such a dubious set up because our hands were tied on account of what the NDA Government had done'! The burden of his song and the statement entirely is that the NDA Government had done something which led to the appointment of the person who was appointed the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee. Sir, when I was referring to former Ministers who are, both coincidentally and pleasantly for us, present in this House, I did not have the slightest doubt that they were the best witnesses of what had happened. And, this is one case where this House will have to take 0an extraordinary step: after the documents which I place before this House, all files which have been held back in the Minister's statement and all documents which have been held back, one by one, must be summoned to the floor of the House for inspection by every Member of the House. It is a monumental deception which has been practised on this House and on the people of this country as to how the structure of the Games was created and how along with that structure the various agencies of the Delhi Government and various agencies of the Central Government decided to function. Sir, the Games commenced with the Indian Olympic Association approaching the Government of India in 2003 saying that it wants to make a bid. The Games are a property of the Commonwealth Games Federation. That is one of the International Federations and just as FIFA owns the World Cup, Soccer, ICC owns the World Cup, Cricket, they are the owners of this event. The Commonwealth Games Federation, which is the international body, owns the event. The structure is that they have their affiliates in India. It is the BCCI in the case of cricket and the Football Association in the case of soccer. In the case of Indian International Olympics, Asian Games or Commonwealth Federation, it is the Indian Olympic Association. So, they deal with only their affiliates. But, for the Olympics, the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games to be organized, their affiliate doesn't even have sufficient money to prepare a bid document. Factually, when a bid document was prepared, the Indian Olympic Association had no money even to prepare the requisites of the bid document. That money too had to be given as a grant by the Sports Ministry. That actually did happen. So, the structure of the Games has always been that the Games remain a property of the Commonwealth Games Federation and various national associations bid for it. And, in this case, the two eventual bids were the Canadian bid and the Indian bid. India bid for New Delhi and Canada bid for Hamilton. The bids were compared. Now, the Commonwealth Games Federation allowed only the Indian Olympic Association to bid but the Indian Olympic Association could not organize it. So, the bid document itself says that the Games will have to be supported by various agencies. So, these were supported by the Government of India. But what happens if there is an election -- as indeed there was -- when a Government changes?
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (contd.): So, they want even a supporting document from the Leader of the Opposition saying that if his Party comes to power, it will continue to support the Games. So, the Government of India supported the Games, the Leader of the Opposition supported the Games - the bid document of New Delhi. And, because New Delhi is the place where it is to be held, the Delhi Government -- both the Chief Minister and the Lieutenant Governor - - had to support the bid, and, all these documents then go for final evaluation to the Commonwealth Games Federation. Now, the entire effort to mislead is on the basis of the bid document itself, and, I will show that it is not an ordinary case; this is a case of a monumental fraud, which will attract penal action against people concerned, and, how a deception is practiced. Sir, I must say that some of the Ministers are vigilant enough. I must compliment Dr. M.S. Gill whose letter to the Prime Minister said that the organization of these Games was to be given to a Committee, which was a nonprofit Government society, and, this was supposed to be headed by a Government nominee, and, then, Mr. Gill says, “somehow, this became a profit society and went into private hands”. How did this happen that a major international event, on which thousands of crores of rupees of public exchequer are to be spent, became a private fiefdom of a few people when it was intended to be an event awarded to the Indian Olympic Association, but as per our Bid, to be organized by an Organizing Committee, which was a registered non-profit Government society. Our bid, the IOA bid, which was supported by the Government of India, the State Government and the Leader of the Opposition said – and, I am reading this – “The Organizing Committee will be a non-profit Government-owned registered society.” And, then, it gives the structure in the form of a chart – “Chairman – Government appointee; Vice-Chairman – IOA President”. This was the clear bid. This bid then culminates into the award of Games to India. On 13th April, 2003, and, this is important, the Games are awarded to New Delhi. When the Games are awarded to New Delhi, various people go and sign the Contract. The Contract, very interestingly, and, Mr. Maken will bear this out, did not only have one sentence, which he has referred to. It had two important sentences, and, it is the second one, which has been held back from this House. The first sentence was very clear. In the Host City Contract, and, because the Contract had to be with the IOA, they say, we award this contract to the Commonwealth Games Association in India, which is the IOA. But then, along with that, the Host City Contract further says that the IOA will set up an Organizing Committee. Will that be a personal fiefdom of the IOA? The answer is ‘no’. The Contract further says, “the Organizing Committee, the IOA, the Government, the Host City will be jointly and severally responsible for all commitments including without limitation, financial commitments relating to the organization and staging of Games in accordance with the Games documents.” And, the Games document is also our bid. And, this is what you hold back from this House for this reason that you want to pass the burden to the then Government. So, the Contract said, “the Games are being given to the IOA but the IOA, the Government of India and the Government of Delhi, as per all Games documents, which includes the bid document, will be bound by all these commitments and the basic commitment is that there will be a registered non-profit Government society with the Government nominee is the head. The matters end. November is over. By February, we are in an election mode, and, with the elections, the Government changes.
(Contd. by HK-1f)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): And the new Government comes in place. I have no difficulty with the new Government coming into place. Once the new Government comes into place, the person, who wanted to hijack the games and converted it into a private system, suddenly realized that he had a greater clout -- and I will show it from the documents -- starts holding a "series of meetings" with the powers that be. These series of meetings include the Prime Minister, the UPA Chairperson, the Group of Ministers which the late Mr. Arjun Singh held. And the burden of his song is, 'I must be given the games'. Now how does he move? The first thing that he had done is this. And that is where the first limb of the fraud begins. It's in September 2004. The date is important. After the new Government took over, the bid document of May 2003, when bid was accepted, had converted into a contract in November 2003. One of the officers of the CAG used the language on television and it was obliquely hinted -- and I am not going to refer to the CAG Report -- that in September 2004 an up-dated bid document surfaced in the files of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It is an up-dated bid document.
What does he do with this document? What are the different layers of fraud in this document? The first fraud is that it surfaces in September 2004 and the printed date, not hand-written date, on this document is December 2003. This fact is noticed even in the Report that an updated bid has surfaced. It surfaced for the first time in the Ministry's file in September 2004, dated December 2003. The second is, if a document enters a Government file, somebody has to endorse it and some entry has to be there. There is no endorsement; it is a printed document on the file. The third question, which other constitutional authorities in their reports have asked, is that when the bid was accepted in November 2003 and it culminated into a binding host-city contract, how could IOA revise its bid unilaterally in December? We have, fortunately, another former Sports Minister of that time, Mr. Vikram Verma, here. We sat with him and he said that he scratched his memory throughout but he never remembered that there was any up-dated bid which came to the Ministry. He went out of office on 22nd of May, 2004. So, the CAG asked, the constitutional authority asked िक जब नवंबर म�� िबड कांटर्ेक्ट बन गई, तो िबड तो खत्म हो गई, िफर आपने िदसंबर म�� एकतरफा िबड कैसे बदल ली? और, यह जो िबड बदली नवंबर म��, यह फाइल म�� िसतंबर, 2004 म�� कैसे पैदा हुई? अगर िसतंबर, 2004 म�� पैदा भी हो गई, तो उसके ऊपर कोई एंडोरसम��ट िलखता िक यह इस तारीख को आई, फलां ��यि�� लेकर आया। इस िबड को लेकर, इस आधार पर आईओए ने एक मीिंटग बुलाई और उसम�� कह िदया िक म �� चेयरमनै बनंूगा। वहा ं ����ताव पास करवा िलया। So, having converted this effort of the Government that it will be spending the money, but it must go into private hands, you now have a situation where he uses the private route to take control. But he knows that the private route will not succeed. So, he has a second route available with him. दूसरा रूट उसके पास है और वह रूट है िक सरकार भी अपनी िमतर् है और क्य��िक सरकार भी अपनी िमतर् है, तो इसिलए सरकार म�� अब लोग मान जाएंगे। What does he now do?
(Contd. by 1g/SK)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): What does he now do? He now writes to the Prime Minister of India in October 2004. This is when the late Mr. Sunil Dutt is the Minister. He writes to the Prime Minister saying ‘you must associate me with the Games’. Now, if Mr. Maken was right in his statement that NDA had tied down your hands by the contract of this September 2004-born document, Mr. Kalmadi did not think so. Please produce his letter of October 2004 where he writes to the Prime Minister, where the only request is, ‘associate me with the Games’. Then, the Cabinet Secretary puts up a note to the Prime Minister saying, ‘He has asked us for being associated with the Games’. There is no difficulty in associating IOA with the Games. So, the Cabinet Secretary also knows that he is not going to be the Chairman; this is not an IOA’s baby. The Organising Committee has to be the Government of India. Kalmadi is only saying ‘associate me with the Games’. So he understands it. But I expected the Minister to tell us that the Cabinet Secretary said that he had said ‘associate me with the Games’. What is the next step? The file goes to the Prime Minister of India. Every officer who looks at the file reads the note of the Cabinet Secretary, ‘This is a request for associating with the Games’. The good samaritan, that Mr. Sunil Dutt was, attended a meeting of the Government and was told that you are going to be the Chairman. He was very happy. He went away to the United States to collect funds for cancer patients for charity and by the time he came back, he realised the situation had changed. So, he immediately wrote to the Prime Minister saying that it was decided that I was going to be the Chairman. How come this gentleman is going to be the Chairman? It was something else that was decided in the meeting. The minutes have been tampered with. So, he complains. Now, you have this Mr. Kalmadi’s letter and you have Mr. Sunil Dutt’s request. The matter goes to the Prime Minister’s Office. And, all this has been concealed from this House. We are all being told that NDA had appointed him. That is why, Sir, this is a deception of such monumental nature that every file must be put on the Table of this House. Now, from the Prime Minister’s Office, from a Deputy Secretary upwards, the file is monitored. Every officer advises the Prime Minister saying ‘we are going to spend such large amounts. It is obvious that the Minister, Mr. Sunil Dutt, has to be the Chairman’. And, they gave a detailed political and administrative rationale, each officer does it, saying that Mr. Sunil Dutt, the Minister, must be the Chairman of the Committee and he must organise the Games. IOA can be the Vice-Chairman. Till this day, in no letter does he make a single reference to this updated bid because they knew that this bid is
of a suspicious origin. The file finally goes to the hon. Prime Minister. You have the Cabinet Secretary saying that he wants to be associated; you have the officers advising the Prime Minister that Mr. Sunil Dutt has to be the Chairman and Mr. Sunil Dutt saying the minutes were tempered with and a decision to make him the Chairman
is hijacked. The Prime Minister on the 6th of December 2004 makes a detailed note. The entire processing has to be that the Minister has to be the Chairman. He overrules each one of them. And on 6th of December, the Prime Minister passes an order, and I am just reading the operative part of that order. There are many paragraphs in that order.
(Contd. by vkk-1H)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): This is dated 6th December 2004. “An Organising Committee and an Executive Board responsible for the conduct of the Games and formulation of the sub-committees to be chaired by Shri Suresh Kalmadi, President, IOA”. (Interruptions) And this House has been told that all this was happening because NDA had done something and we were without an option. There are still those in the Government who don’t want to accept this order. So, it doesn’t end with this. There was a Group of Ministers under Mr. Arjun Singh which had been constituted. He was the HRD Minister. The Group of Ministers says, let us see what is to be done; there are conflicting views. The PMO’s advice also goes to the Group of
Ministers. This Group finally meets on the 29th of January 2005. Sir, surely, Mr. Maken should have told us all these facts. How can this debate even proceed for a minute without the Government confirming whether this route was followed to make him the Chairman or not? Now, this matter goes to the Group of Ministers and on 29th of January 2005, the Group of Ministers meets and takes the decision which I will read from its decisions. It says, “The Organising Committee shall be headed by the President of the IOA, Shri Suresh Kalmadi, and this Committee will conduct the Commonwealth Games 2010”. (Interruptions) And we are all told, “No. This was the crime of the NDA”.
Sir, why was this happening? Now, kindly see the enormity of this fraud. The structure of the Games was, a bid of the IOA supported by the two Governments in the Centre and the State and the Opposition, and two clauses that Games go to the IOA as the rules of the Commonwealth Games Federation say that Games will only be given to a National Association. They had never given to anybody else. But, all of you will be bound by the undertaking and the undertaking is, ‘a Government Organising Committee’. Because without that undertaking, if Mr. Kalmadi and his team had gone to the Commonwealth Games and said that they would organise the Games in India, they wouldn’t have even opened the door and allowed them to enter. It’s that guarantee of the Government of India and the State Government that we will fund and we will set up an Organising Committee with a Government head and associate them only as Vice Chairmen, you would never have got the Games. And, even in the Host City Contract, this is made obligatory. So, you first make an effort to slip in a document, convert it into a private body and having succeeded in that effort – but, you are still unsure – you then, use your political links. The entire Ministry of Sports, the entire bureaucracy of the PMO says, “This can’t be done”. The Prime Minister overrules each one of them. Why did he overrule? See the consequences of this overruling. Subsequently, when Mr. Suresh Kalmadi is in charge and there are objections being raised, Mr. Kalmadi writes a letter to the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister in 2007. If they want, we can also place these documents before this House. In the letter, he says that now you, the Ministry of Sports, are making an effort to interfere with our jurisdiction. He says, “You are making an effort to interfere with our jurisdiction. I was appointed the Chairman and this Organising Committee was set up after a series of meetings I have had with the Chairman, UPA, the Prime Minister and the Group of Ministers”. (Interruptions) (Followed by MKS/1j)
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (SHRI ARUN JAITLEY): Sir, I was referring to the mode and the manner in which the Organizing Committee and its Chairman were appointed. I would just recollect that even though the original bid categorically provided for it being a Government Committee with a Government Chairman, efforts to slip in documents to convert its character did not succeed. Thereafter the IOA President writes to the Prime Minister. On the receipt of the letter and I am just reading a note of 29th October, 2004. This is a letter of 23rd October which is received in the Cabinet Secretariat. The Cabinet Secretary puts up a note to the Prime Minister saying, “Separately a communication has also been received from Shri Suresh Kalmadi, President, Indian Olympics Association for associating IOA in the Organizing Committee. A view in the matter can be taken after presentation by IOA as mentioned in para 9 of the draft minutes.” It is put up to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister signs this on the 5th of November. Now, it is during this period that something is radically moving. He merely wanted to be associated and his organization to be associated. But, Somehow on the 6th, on receipt of this note, the Prime Minister says and I have already read that note, “Overruling the entire objections of the Prime Minister’s Office saying that the Organizing Committee would be headed by the President of IOA and this matter should now be referred to the GoM.” The GoM thereafter meets on the 29th of January, 2005 and puts its imprint of approval on the appointment of Mr. Kalmadi as the Chairperson. Later when Minister after Minister is complaining – this is the period when Mr. Sunil Dutt is complaining –it was his two successors who were saying that this is a complete hijack. Is the Government only a milch cow, as one of the Ministers said, which is going to provide the funds without any form of accountability and this would be a private body? What he does curiously is, having received this approval of the Prime Minister and the GoM finally on the 29th of January 2005, now the final hijack of this into a private fiefdom takes place. Instead of a Government society, on the 10th of February, 2005 he goes and registers a private society called Organizing Committee Commonwealth Games, 2010, Delhi.
(Contd. by USY/1P)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): This is not a Government body; this is a private society. He registers a private society, the Prime Minister and the GoM have already approved his chairmanship of the society and the other members of the society are, at the time of this registration, all who belong to his organization. Therefore, what was originally intended to be a body, appointed by the Government, and a Government non-profit society with a Government chairman became a private society. Even an undertaking in the Host City Contract says, “Even though the games are awarded to the IOA, the Government of India, the Government of NCT and the IOA are all bound by undertaking.” And, one of the undertakings clearly was that it will be a Government society with a Government Chairman because only they could organize it. And, the highjack was, now, complete. Then, Ministers after Ministers start complaining as to what is to be done. I have already referred to Mr. Sunil Dutt’s letter, saying, “I find that there is a change of minutes.” He writes on 14th November, 2004, “I was surprised to see newspaper reports about a resolution passed by the Indian Olympic Association regarding the appointment of the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, which is at variance with the decision taken in the GoM. The letter of the President, IOA, dated 28th October, 2004, addressed to you, a copy of which was received in my office from the PMO clearly shows that the President, IOA, was aware of the decision appointing a GoM, appointing a Minister.” Then, he says, “Notwithstanding the sense of disquiet, I waited for the formal minutes of the GoM meeting, which reached my office on 10th November, 2004, the minutes, as issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, do not reflect the decisions taken in the meeting of 25th October. So, the Minutes are changed.” Thereafter, there are letters by which his successor Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, then, advises the Prime Minister. He first writes on 23rd October to the Prime Minister’s Office, I am quoting, “Without a drastic overhaul of both the Executive Board and the Organizing Committee of the Commonwealth, I fear it will prove to be precisely impossible for the Government to significantly address the excesses of the Chairman, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi.” He, then, directly writes to the PM, making a complaint almost to the same effect. Mr. Gill, with his bureaucratic experience, now, starts looking at files as to how this has been hijacked as a private body, which was supposed to be a Government body as the Government was funding that; the agreement was Government, the bid was Government, then, how did it become a private body? Mr. Gill, when he takes over, as late as in 2009, says, I am quoting just one sentence from Mr. Gill’s letter, “The then Government of India and the Government of Delhi, along with the IOA, signed the agreement, taking the games, in 2003. The original signed document had a Government chairman, but later somehow it got changed.” So, the Minister was wondering how this Government chairman and Government body got hijacked. Why did it happen? When all this was happening, the three Ministers, in a row, had been complaining as to what was the source of power that this man was wielding that the Prime Minister overruled the Cabinet Secretary, he overruled the Prime Minister’s Office, he overruled three successive Ministers, and he overruled what the original bid was. This becomes clear from a letter, when the Ministers are complaining whether they are only a milch cow which is going to fund them and he keeps hijacking the whole operation and spends the entire money and there is no accounting. Mr Kalmadi writes to the Prime Minister’s Office, to the Principal Secretary on 31st October, 2007. He responds by saying, and that is where he indicates that where his powers yield from, “The OC, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Suresh Kalmadi and with a fifteenmember Executive Board, was registered as a society under the Society Registration Act, 1860, on 10th February, after a series of discussions with the PMO, Chairperson of the UPA and the GoM.”
(Contd. by 1q – VP)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): I am repeating, Sir, ..(Interruptions)… I am repeating, Sir, that the Government’s own understanding always was that this is a Government society, not only under the NDA Government, but even under the UPA Government. These are the documents which are freely available. Ordinarily, I would not have referred to them. I had no access to them. But now these are available on the net. One of the funding proposals goes to the Cabinet. A note is circulated to the Cabinet on 21st March, 2005. They compare the bids – this is till 2005 in what is given to the Cabinet -- they compare the Hamilton Bid and the Delhi Bid. The Delhi Bid, in the papers circulated says: “Delhi’s Organising Committee will be a non-profit
Government-owned registered society, chaired by a Government nominee. The projected games time workforce will comprise 1,990 paid staff and 18,000 volunteers.” So, even in 2005 when you are doing all this, you were clear that this had to be a Government body. Now, where did this pressure come from that sometime in October, November and December, 2004, you completely allowed this hijack to take place; converted what was to be a Government society, headed by a Government chairperson, and allowed it to be a personal fiefdom of some individuals. Now, Mr. Maken would have us believe that, well, there is something in the Host City Contract. In none of these documents -- I am referring to the Cabinet notes, Cabinet Secretary’s notes, Ministers letters, Prime Minister’s note – any strength is drawn from the Host City Contract because the Host City Contract was as clear as daylight. Games are awarded to the IOA. The IOA, Government of India, and the Government of NCT are bound by their undertakings, which is the bid document. And the bid document was that this is going to be a Government-owned registered society with Government nominee as the Chairman and IOA nominee as the Vice-Chairman. Now, Sir, I would like to put a question. Was he a chairman in his private capacity, or, was he a chairman as a Government nominee? If he were chairman as a Government nominee, then, why was it allowed to be registered as a private society? So, the private society of which he and his friends are the owners, they run it; the Government lends its shoulder to him to become a chairman. This House is not informed about a single document. So, while this matter is serious, has the Government, through the Minister’s statement, told us that this appointment was made by the GOM, this appointment was made by the Prime Minster’s Office? Nothing is told to us. Therefore, Sir, to make this debate meaningful, -- the country is entitled to know the entire facts on the structure of these games -- at least, the papers should be placed in the Chairman’s Chamber or before this House. The whole country is entitled to see what the documents are. I have no hesitation in saying that if you don’t place these documents – there are only some which have reached us – there are going to be a lot more in those files which are going to reveal the truth which the Government does not
want to come out with. Now, Sir, the eventual test was when in 2010, after the games,
scandals erupted, and Mr. Kalmadi had to be removed. Who removed him? If he was the private chairman of a private society, the Government of India had no power to remove him. All of us are associated with societies in our private capacities, Governments cannot remove us. Governments can remove us only if Governments
have appointed us. ( Contd. By PK/1r)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): The Government now wakes up to the truth and refers the matter to the Attorney General of India. The Attorney General, in January, 2011, gives an opinion saying, “We now realized that it was a private society, but he was appointed as Chairman by the GoM; so, the Government of India is within its right to remove it.” So, the final law is made when the Attorney General’s opinion comes that he can be removed by the Government of India because it is the Government of India in 2005, which had appointed him. Now, Sir, as a Chair, you are the protector of this House and its rights. A statement has been made before this House, which, essentially, has only limited information. There was a Host City contract. The bid got, for some reasons, altered – whether it was an interpolation, whether it was a fabrication, and before which, Sir, our hands were tied. The whole history of its strangle hold on the Organizing Committee and the money spent by persons outside the Government is completely conceived. Is this House to be kept in the dark or is this House to be informed? And, if this House is to be informed, then, I think we are being unfair to poor Mr. Maken. He has committed no impropriety. He has just been put up here after the newspapers reported that the finger is pointing to the Prime Minister’s Office for having appointed him, for having made a hurried Statement and that hurried Statement is that you must simply say,” Nobody had anything to do; it was only the previous Government which had done all this.” Sir, you will have to take a call whether this House is entitled and the people through this House are entitled to know the truth or not. Or, are we only entitled to know convenient Statements made by Ministers? Now, look, what happens after this. Every contract which is executed by this private body--they function, essentially, on Government money; they function on tax payers’ money—and implemented is over priced. I am not only on the procedural improprieties. compare it with the costs. For the last one year, we are being disgraced by fact after fact before the global media that every contract is overpriced and there is no scrutiny. Today, the CBI is working overtime to find out the truth. Once this kind of a leeway starts that the Organizing Committee can do it, then, obviously, what has happened elsewhere is not untrue either. We all live in a real world and we know in the real world how much stadiums cost and how much beautification drives in the host city costs. Compare the cost of these stadiums with the stadiums built elsewhere in the country. So, I can tell you, except for the recently renovated Mumbai, the Wankhede Stadium, there is not a single cricket stadium in India, cost of which has gone into three figures. They are between Rs.40 to Rs.80 crores. They are considered as good as the best in the world.
You have had the World Cups, you have had more games there than any other part of the world. Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium renovation cost Rs.961 crores. Dhyanchand Stadium -- Pandit ji built it at the time of First Asian Games-- from 14,000 to 17,000 is the capacity expansion, 3,000 seats are increased- cost Rs.350 crores. Dharamshala has, probably, one of the most beautiful cricket stadiums in the country -- Rs.48 crores, including land cost. You compare the cost which the Commonwealth Games have cost us. You compare it with each one of the contract. The NDMC had to build the Shivaji Stadium, it is still not ready. Seven colleges of Delhi University were told, “Don’t admit students in the hostel for the first few months. Hostels will be renovated and guests will come and stay here.” Each college was given huge grants, because practice facilities will be held.
(Contd. by 1S/PB)
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY (CONTD.): Now, we happen to know some of those colleges. In fact, I am associated with one of them in the management. So, I asked them, ‘how were the practice facilities held?’ Six months after the Games were over, the work was still going on. No practice was held. How many guests came and stayed in the hostels from which students were evicted? Not one; not one. You evicted all the students from the hostels of the universities because guests will come and stay. This is how the money is to be spent. You lay the pavements; then you pick them up and say, “I don’t like the colour.’
Sir, as far as the agencies are concerned, the agencies will be accountable to whoever in law the agencies are accountable, whether it is the CPWD or the Sports Authority of India and other agencies. The political heads of the Government, whether it is the Delhi Government or it is the Government of India, are responsible to both Houses of Parliament. Delhi is after all a Union Territory though they have their own Assembly; but it is a Union Territory. The political establishment is accountable to this country. You created a system in which, in a whimsical and fanciful manner, works are going on overpriced; the Central Government is a little worse, because, you created a mechanism for the Games which was contrary to all arrangements.
Sir, every Commonwealth Game, every Olympic Game, every Asian Game is awarded to the Association. Mr. Maken should know this. But there is always a Government-headed Organizing Committee because Governments pay, taxpayers pay. The Sydney Olympics had a Government-headed Chairperson. The 1982 Asiad, first had Mr. V.C. Shukla and then had Mr. Buta Singh. The Afro-Asian Games during the NDA period was done by the IOA; it was held in Hyderabad and Mr. Chandrababu Naidu was the Chairman. This is the arrangement which was to take place and which has taken place in the history all throughout. And, instead of that arrangement, you created private systems and, therefore, Sir, there are two issues which I raise and with which I conclude. My colleagues may refer to some other questions with regard to the final details of this. The first is, the Government has not taken this House into confidence. They have not been candid with all facts. They have given us a twisted version of the facts that ‘because of some contract we were bound’, though that is never referred to, from 2004 to 2007. The real truth is, you saw a political ally in the gentleman and handed over the Games to him by turning and twisting all the contracts. And the second fact is, it is for the Government to decide what they want to do. We, as the Opposition, are very clear that political heads of the two Governments which were involved in this and because of which this monumental fraud has taken place, these huge cases of overspending of public money have taken place, don’t have a right to be in their offices even for a single day more. ...(Interruptions)... It is only when these heads roll that India’s democracy will be held to be more accountable. Sir, if I had stated any fact which is inaccurate, we, at least, have three former Sports Ministers present in this House today to point it out. I am sure, from 2003 to 2010 those who looked after these Departments are here, barring Mr. Sunil Dutt. They will know the facts which I mentioned. Even if there is a slight inaccuracy in what I have said, it can be pointed out. Otherwise, the Government must be hauled up for making an inaccurate statement of this kind which the Minister has a lot to answer on these questions.