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Aiyar's statement is anti-national: Kalmadi

July 27, 2010 18:00 IST

Kalmadi presenting scroll to President Pratibha Devisingh PatilCommonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Tuesday hit back at former Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for his scathing criticism of the upcoming event, saying the senior Congress leader's comments are "irresponsible" and "anti-national".

Aiyar said he would be "unhappy" if the Commonwealth Games were a success and that only "evil" will patronise them.

Reacting to the statement, Kalmadi said, "No individual can spoil the Games. It is totally irresponsible and ridiculous statement from such a senior person, who has also headed the sports ministry earlier. No Indian national can speak like that.

"With the Commonwealth Games fast approaching, he should know his responsibilities and think before making such a statement. He is an elected member of Rajya Sabha and it is totally an anti-national statement from him.

"It was because of his openness that he was removed from the Sport Minister's post. If he would have been the minister, the Commonwealth Games would never have come to India," Kalmadi said.

Earlier in the day, Aiyar criticised the money being spent for the October mega-event and said he would be unhappy if the Games are a success.

"I am delighted in a way because rains are causing difficulties for the Commonwealth Games. Basically, I will be very unhappy, if the Games are successful because then they will start bringing Asian Games, Olympic Games and all these," he had told reporters outside Parliament House.

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