'Games critics unpatriotic'

Written by Geeta Gupta | Geeta Gupta | Sobhana K | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 12 2010, 04:55am hrs
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has assured that the Commonwealth Games would be alright. The chief minister said most of the construction debris almost 82,000 tonne had been removed from the Capital. Whatever remains is the job of the construction agencies to clear, she said, adding: This has been a difficult task with the multiplicity of agencies involved. There was an absence of coordination with various contractors hired by them. Dikshit was speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of the Express Group on Tuesday.

Failing to adhere to todays deadline to remove construction waste across the city, the Delhi government has extended the time-frame to August 31.

Dikshit said she had felt nervous for China when she visited Beijing just two months before the Olympics. Nothing was ready. Nobody knew what was going on. There was a dust haze all over. None of the stadiums were prepared. Commonwealth Games come soon after my Beijing nervousness. It will be alright, she said.

She also confronted the barrage of criticism for the Commonwealth Games and said all those who had been wagged their tongues against it were unpatriotic. She said: Why ask now Why not two years ago

Dikshit was referring to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyers recent broadside that he would have been happy if the Games were a failure. She said: He has always been sceptical about the Games. On the clouds looming over Games committee chief Suresh Kalmadi after the allegations of financial irregularities, Dikshit said, Officials of the Games Organising Committee have stopped signing files. Kalmadi represents the CWG Federation and says he will not resign. There is nothing we can do about it.

We should have had more positive publicity for the Games, Diskshit added.