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Sir Rols

Kalmadi Sacked

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Well, finally! Probably a few years too late, though ...

India's ruling Congress Party sacks Commonwealth Games head

India's ruling Congress Party has sacked the head of its Commonwealth Games Organising Committee from a top party post and the chief minister of Maharashtra state amid allegations of corruption.

The move has been portrayed as an attempt to show it is serious about improving the country's governance following President Obama's pledge to support a permanent seat for India on the United Nations Security Council.

Suresh Kalmadi, who was widely blamed for the fiasco surrounding India's preparations for the Commonwealth Games and who was loudly jeered by thousands of spectators at its closing ceremony, was dismissed as a Congress Party secretary. The move is expected to trigger his departure as head of the Games' organising committee.

Allegations of corruption regarding contracts for the Queen's Baton Relay are being investigated by Indian police, while other bodies are looking at construction deals. India's anti-corruption watchdog criticised the preparations for the Games and is said to be examining allegations that certificates guaranteeing the quality of building materials had been forged.

Mr Kalmadi has been blamed for the late completion of the Games village and athletes' apartments which threatened the participation of several national teams. Athletes and officials complained their flats were unsafe and dirty.

Photographs revealed evidence of human waste and muddy paw prints on the beds.

His reputation plunged further when a foot bridge at the main Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed, injuring 27 workers, days before the Games were due to begin.

Ashok Chavan was effectively sacked on Tuesday when his resignation over his alleged involvement in a housing scandal was accepted by party chief Sonia Gandhi. Mr Chavan had been a key figure in allowing a housing co-operative build a tower block on prime residential land in the heart of Mumbai's Colaba district for war heroes and widows.

But many of the flats, overlooking the Arabian Sea, were given instead to retired army and navy chiefs and associates and relatives of senior Congress politicians. Three of Mr Chavan's relatives are alleged to have been allocated heavily-discounted flats in the block.

Mr Chavan's sacking came two days after he personally welcomed President Obama when he arrived in Mumbai on Saturday. He had angered senior colleagues after threatening to boycott the visit in protest over tight security arrangements for a dinner hosted by the president on his first night.

"Pending [an] inquiry, his offer of resignation has been accepted. He has been asked to tender his resignation to Governor K Sankaranarayanan," said a spokesman. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Leading commentator Vir Sanghvi said Mrs Gandhi had sacked the men to send an anti-corruption message to her party. "She has a fetish about honesty but wanted to wait until after President Obama's visit to minimise any embarrassment," he said.

Telegraph

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It had to happen soon or later, or else i would have lost faith in humanity. This guy is the main reason the 2010 CWG were a mess.

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He was certainly the chief bozo behind all the khaotic and kalamatous build up to Dehi 2010, but how mcuh of this is mere scapegoating? Getting rid of the dullard after the games and not looking at the systemic reasons why there was such a schemozzle in the first place is not going to help anyone. Plus no one individual can be blamed with the inherent problems with an Indian city hosting a major multi-sport event such as the 2010 CGs; when a populace is so marginalised with so much poverty and so little competent development from an anarchic government it's no surprise that things went to hell in a handcart. Just as Gianna Angelopoulos wasn't solely responsible either for Athens 2004r almost failing, then being delivered on time but then being a huge financial sink hole for Greece, Kalmadi stands both part of and more relevantly symbolic of the failures of government in India in hosting the CGs.

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And now ... finally ... he's been given the heave from the OC:

DELHI 2010: Kalmadi sacked as Commonwealth Games post-mortem continues

SURESH Kalmadi has been sacked as chairman of the organising committee for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Kalmadi and secretary general Lalit Bhanot were both shown the door with their organisation still under a high-profile investigation by Indian authorities over allegations of financial mismanagement.

His hapless management of the Games was widely criticised, with spectators booing him during both the opening and closing ceremony.

Ajay Maken, who succeeded MS Gill as Indian sports minister last week, explained the decision to remove Kalmadi and Bhanot was taken 'in the interest of an impartial probe'.

He also claimed the decision to axe Kalmadi, who is also head of the Indian Olympic Committee, and Bhanot was recommended by the Indian Attorney General.

More Than The Games

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Not too sure of the status of Kalmadi on the IOA:

(snip)

Kalmadi refused comment on the sackings — which came following CBI complaints that the duo were intimidating witnesses and hampering investigations — but asserted he would not resign as head of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Asked why Kalmadi had been removed from a panel whose prime mandate had expired when the Games ended on October 14 but allowed to stay on as IOA chief, sources explained that the IOA, unlike the organising committee, was not a government-appointed body.

They said the Olympic association, which Kalmadi has headed since 1996, was an autonomous and elected body and that any government interference could prompt the International Olympic Committee to ban it.

(snip) (source)

Whilst you get the feeling Kaos Kalmadi is klutching at straws there is a kernel of truth in how dimly the IOC views political interference in NOCs (when they aren't in despotic third world countries or petrodollar rich gulf states that is). However I can;t imagine Jacques would be sending off missives pleading for mercy or threats of Olympic boycotts on Kalmadi's behalf. If anything they will obsequiously let the decision go through to the keeper as "this is a domestic Indian concern" then await with bated breath a Delhi 2020 or later bid, which they can absolve from any 2010 CWG issues saying that the Kalmadi regime were the problem.

At the end of the day when you mix up domestic political functionaries and power broking with major sports administration this kind of inefficiency and corruption is almost inevitable. It takes a country with a far more developed attitude to the separation of political power and personal enrichment to get such a huge project right. The lessons are there for both the IOC as well as the CGF and MaFIFA to see, and if they ignore it then that's their problem.

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What happened to Ms. Dikshit? :lol:

She was part of the state government for the region of Delhi and not per se part of the Delhi OC. Not knowing her political affiliations (most of the apparatchiks involved were from the Congress Party) I guess she us relatively safe. Fir now...

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Whilst you get the feeling Kaos Kalmadi is klutching at straws there is a kernel of truth in how dimly the IOC views political interference in NOCs (when they aren't in despotic third world countries or petrodollar rich gulf states that is). However I can;t imagine Jacques would be sending off missives pleading for mercy or threats of Olympic boycotts on Kalmadi's behalf. If anything they will obsequiously let the decision go through to the keeper as "this is a domestic Indian concern" then await with bated breath a Delhi 2020 or later bid, which they can absolve from any 2010 CWG issues saying that the Kalmadi regime were the problem.

Well, that's certainly the defence that Kalmadi is playing now.

India Commonwealth Games head protests dismissal

NEW DELHI — The sacked chief of India's tainted Commonwealth Games has protested at his dismissal by the sports ministry, calling it illegal and arbitrary in a letter seen by AFP on Tuesday.

Suresh Kalmadi, an MP from the ruling Congress party, wrote to Sports Minister Ajay Maken saying he was "shocked" by the manner in which he was sacked on Monday as chairman of the Commonwealth Games organising committee.

"I am shocked to receive an order dated 24 January illegally and arbitrarily removing me from the position of chairman of the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games," Kalmadi wrote.

"The organising committee is an autonomous society registered under the Societies Registration Act and as chairman I can only be removed in accordance with the constitutional documents of the society," he said.

Although the Games were held from October 3-14, top organisers usually continue in their posts until the winding-up process is completed.

Kalmadi, 66, who was booed by spectators at the opening and closing ceremonies, insisted the sporting extravaganza was a "spectacular" event involving athletes from 71 countries and former British territories.

"I am anguished that instead of being commended for my efforts at putting up such a spectacular show, the organising committee is being unfairly singled out," said the letter.

The delayed and vastly over-budget Commonwealth Games, which were staged only after frantic last-minute efforts to bring facilities up to standard, caused acute embarrassment for India's government.

Maken on Monday also removed organising committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot, saying they were sacked "in the interest of impartial and unhindered investigations" into allegations of rampant corruption in the Games.

Kalmadi and Bhanot were asked to hand over charge to Jarnail Singh, the chief executive officer of the organising committee.

The pair has already been grilled by the police in an ongoing probe, but both insist they are innocent and claim all major decisions were taken by the executive board of the organising committee.

AFP

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