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All allegations are baseless: Kalmadi

Last updated on: July 31, 2010 19:36 IST

Suresh KalmadiStrongly refuting allegations of financial irregularities in the Commonwealth Games, Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday said that there was total transparency in all the deals and "every pie is accounted for".

A day after the OC was rocked by an alleged scam involving a little known UK-based company, Kalmadi held a lengthy press conference to dismiss all allegations as "totally unfounded and baseless" and threatened to initiate legal action against those who have maligned the OC's image.

"We have nothing to hide. There is total transparency in OC and our conscience is clear. All the headlines about money trail story is false. Every pie is accounted for. We are hurt by this allegations," Kalmadi said.

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"I am deeply pained by these unfounded and baseless allegations. I totally deny this malicious broadcast. It is bad for the morale of the Games, which is in such an important phase. I will like to deny everything, which is coming in the news channel. There is nothing against us in the Central Vigilance Commission report," he said.

"I am thinking of legal action, including defamation against the channel. It is such a malicious reporting, which is far from truth," an angry Kalmadi added.

The Delhi Games were hit by a major scam after the British Government raised questions about a substantial sum of money which was transferred to A M Films from the OC.

-Irregularities observed in CWG-related works

Reports claimed that over £4.50 lakh were transferred through a British bank to the company, which was also said to be receiving £25,000 a month for costume designing.

Clarifying the position, Kalmadi admitted that there was no contract between the OC and A M Films and they roped in the company at the last minute only on the recommendation of the Indian High Commission in London.

"There are two sides of the story. Whole thing has come out because of the VAT refund we have asked from the company. They (British authorities) might have gone to the office of the company but if there is something wrong there, I am not responsible for it. If we were wrong, why would we ask for VAT refund," he said.

Kalmadi denied that the CWG Organising Committee transferred £25,000 every month to AM Films for costume design and said the OC made a one-time payment of £two lakh and 38 thousand in October last year.

"Neither we paid money for costume designing nor paid any monthly amount to A M films. The whole amount of £2 lakh 38 thousand was paid one-time in October 2009," he said.

"The budget for QBR function in London was dully approved by the executive committee of OC as Rs 13 crore and we spent only six crores. All the money was taken with RBI permission," said Kalmadi.

He explained that the High Commission had recommended two firms AM Cars & Vans and A M Films for the additional job as demanded by the London authorities to hold the QBR as the main event management company Jacks and Morton Worldwide said their hands were full.

"On a meeting on October 23, 2009, we are told by the London authorities, including Metropolitan Police, that additional items like mobile video screens, portable toilets, ambulances, barricades etc had to be placed at the launch site without which the authorities would not allow to hold the programme.

"The President of India was coming and the London authorities told about new things in short notice we could not have done it through a tender or contract," he said.

"AM Cars and Vans – a company empanelled by the High Commission of India in London – was appointed for all the transportation requirement on the rates approved by the High Commission. Since AM Films was a sister company of AM Cars and Vans we went for it and that also on the rates recommended by the High Commission," he said waving the letter issued by High Commission on October 13, 2009.

He said the money to AM Films Ltd was paid through bank transfer from Delhi with due approvals. The other items like mobile toilets, barricades etc were got through AM Cars and Vans, he said.

Regarding the CVC report on construction of stadiums, Kalmadi said the OC was not in the picture.

"All the 16 points in the CVC report has nothing to do with the OC. We have yet to get the possession of all the venues, which we are going to do tomorrow. You can now ask the venue owners about it," he retorted.

"I am only concerned with the holding of the Games. As far as the field of play is concerned it is going to be world class. I am not supposed to see the tenders of contract which the government and its agencies are having," he added.