Unfazed by the protests staged against him today by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists in Pune, scam-tainted Congress leader and local Member of Parliament Suresh Kalmadi has expressed his 'resolve' to continue working for the development of the city, while claiming that he was "innocent" in the Commonwealth Games-related graft case.
Reacting sharply to the noisy demonstration in front of the Pune Municipal Corporation building where he went to inaugurate a sports committee office, Kalmadi said he was "innocent and not guilty till proved guilty".
In an effort to regain his lost political ground against the backdrop of the CWG scam, Kalmadi, who is under suspension from the party, also held discussions with civic chief Mahesh Pathak on the various problems plaguing his constituency.
The former CWG Organising Committee chief later told reporters that he was not "bothered" by protests from any political parties.
"No one can stop me from engaging in developmental work for Pune, the city which has an important place on the world map," he said.
Claiming that the court had stated in his bail order that "no money trail has been found (in the CWG case)," Kalmadi said he entered the PMC building from the front gate and not from the back entrance, in spite of protests.
The Delhi high court had granted Kalmadi bail in January in a 2010 Games-related graft case.
Earlier, activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena staged a vociferous protest, waving black flags, condemning Kalmadi for his alleged role in the CWG scam.
The supporters of Kalmadi and the police intervened to clear his way towards the PMC building.