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Chavan, Kalmadi's ouster shows Congress is guilty: Gadkari

By Onkar Singh
November 09, 2010 17:18 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday described as "mere eyewash" the removal of Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Suresh Kalmadi being stripped off a key party post and demanded a probe against all those directly or indirectly involved in Mumbai's Adarsh Housing Society and Commonwealth Games scams.

Chavan became the first political casualty of the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi directing him to resign. The Congress also axed Kalmadi on Tuesday morning as secretary of its parliamentary party, seeking to distance itself from the Organising Committee Chairman of the Commonwealth Games in the wake of allegations of corruption. 

Accepting Chavan's resignation and removing Kalmadi from the post is a clear indication that the party is guilty and that it has admitted that there was corruption in the Games and in the allotment of flats in Adarsh society, BJP president Nitin Gadkari told reporters in New Delhi.

Gadkari fired a fresh salvo against Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his cabinet accusing them of looking the other way while officials oragnising the Games made money illegally. He said taking action taken against "small people is a mere eyewash and the role of those in the Group of Ministers for the CWG and committee headed by Kalmadi, of which Rahul Gandhi was also member, should also be looked into".

The BJP president's statements come on a day when the axe fell on Chavan and Kalmadi barely hours ahead of the start of the winter session of Parliament. Dubbing the United Progressive Alliance as the "most corrupt government ever", he said he was baffled how the Prime Minister's Office cleared huge expenses in connection with the CWG where estimates of certain expenditures had gone up by six times from the original cost.

"How could the GoM that was especially constituted for the Games and the PMO clear such expenses without probing? This matter will be raised by the Opposition in both Houses of Parliament in this session," Gadkari said.

He said the Organising Committee even imported tiles for the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from Australia and also had a foreign firm lay them.

"The Indian contractors were totally ignored. Do they regard Indian's incapable of even laying bathroom tiles?" he asked.

He claimed that the maximum money required for setting up a new stadium could be anything between Rs 1 to Rs 5 crore. "But in case of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium the renovation itself cost more than Rs 862 crore," he said.

Gadkari echoed his demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the CWG scam and said, "Only when each file connected to this is scrutinised, will the truth emerge."

When told that some media reports indicated that even his name had cropped up in the Adarsh society issue on Tuesday, the BJP president rubbished any such allegation and said, "I don't even know the A of Adarsh."

When asked about the BJP's plan to corner the government over the 2G scam, he said, "Today I just want to highlight the Adarsh and CWG issue but it is a fact that be it 2G or CWG, it's all a big scandal. The Congress is full of corruption."

With inputs from Agencies
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