Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has criticised Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi for his poor management, saying the 2010 Games has become a laughing stock.
“Somebody told me that nowadays people are talking about only one thing in Delhi. I asked, ”what is it”. Then he replied, ”Commonwealth Games.” After that I said, ”this Games has become a joke,” said Pawar, while addressing a public gathering here on Friday.
“Nowadays, I am hearing a story that due to severe criticism, the chief of the organising committee decided to commit suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling, but ironically the ceiling came down. May be the quality of ceiling was not good,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Kalmadi said he was happy with the progress made in the Games Village as it got ready to welcome the first of the 7000 athletes and team officials who will reside there during the Commonwealth Games.
“As many as 121 Indian athletes and team officials from five disciplines and 17 Indian Para Sport athletes and team officials are slated to check into the Games Village this evening. I am sure that they will find the Village in good condition,” Kalmadi said, having overseen the deployment of an extra workforce.
“I spent time at the Village this morning and am happy with the progress made by my team, with the support of Government agencies, in bringing up all 32 towers in the Village”s Residential Zone to standards that would be acceptable to all our honoured visitors,” he added.
Kalmadi further said no teams will pull out of the Games.
“We believe there will be no serious complaints anymore. And we believe that no teams will pull out of the Games. I am happy to note that we have already completed Delegation Registration Meetings with 21 teams. More will be completed in the coming days. I have met the Chefs de Missions and Team Managers from these teams,” said Kalmadi.
“The training facilities, athletes dining hall and International Zone are all world class and the Residential Zone, especially some of the newer buildings, has had some problems because of the copious rain that Delhi has received this season. We are making good progress,” he added.
Security concerns surrounding the Games have also been heightened in the wake of the shooting of two Taiwanese nationals travelling in a tourist bus outside New Delhi”s Jama Masjid area on Sunday.
The record monsoon rains, an outbreak of dengue fever, allegations of corruption and late venue construction have all added to suspicion by athletes, their families and Games officials from participating countries.
The 12-day sporting extravaganza, which kicks off on October 3, is India””s biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.