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Congress distances itself from Kalmadi, CWG probe

By Onkar Singh
December 02, 2010 14:42 IST
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The Congress on Thursday made it clear that it has no intention of interfering in the ongoing investigations in the Commonwealth Games scam, even if the Central Bureau of Investigation wanted to question CWG Organising Committee Chairman and Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi.

"Our party's stance is clear; it will not interfere in any criminal investigations that is being conducted by the CBI or any other agency. The law will take its own course," Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari told rediff.com. He was responding to a question on whether the party would come to the rescue of Kalmadi.

Reacting to Kalmadi's statement – that he would like to address the Parliament over the CWG scam -- a senior minister in the central cabinet said, "Who will listen to Suresh Kalmadi if he tried to make a statement on the floor of the House? He will be hooted down by all the parties including the Congress".

Two of Kalmadi's close confidants -- Secretary general of the Commonwealth Organising Committee Lalit Bhanot and CWG OC Director General V K Verma -- whose offices and residences were raided by CBI sleuths on Tuesday, are facing charges of causing a loss of nearly Rs 57 crore by accepting highly overpriced tenders for the Games.

"They need to be interrogated in custody as they are not cooperating with the investigation," said a source.

Speaking on the decision to buy overpriced equipment from a firm based in Switzerland, Bhanot told rediff.com on Wednesday night, "The decision was not taken by Suresh Kalmadi alone. The decision to purchase the equipment was ratified by the organising committee executive board. We are cooperating with the investigating agency."

Newly appointed director of CBI A P Singh has already stated that if the agency gets sufficient evidence against Kalmadi, it would not hesitate to question the beleaguered Congress leader.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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