Kalmadi hits back at Aiyar for Games remark

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 29 2010, 04:16am hrs
Firing another salvo at Commonwealth Games organisers, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said he would be unhappy if it became successful, inviting a strong reaction from IOA boss Suresh Kalmadi, who branded him anti-national. Kalmadi in a swift response said it was good that Aiyar did not continue as the sports minister since no stadia would have been completed in time. Nobody can spoil the Games. Things are on track, he declared, adding Aiyars remarks are irresponsible and anti-national.

Aiyar, who appeared to make a doomsday prophecy on the success of the October 3-14 Games going by the state of preparedness, also said on Tuesday that anyone who was patronising the Games cannot be anything but evil. Aiyars outspoken comments, which could stoke a controversy, came on a cloudy day with rain showers lashing many parts of the Capital causing problems to Games preparations.

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, the former union sports minister told reporters outside Parliament.

The remarks by Aiyar, a vocal critic of the Commonwealth Games, come at a time when the Centre, the Delhi government and the organisers are keeping their fingers crossed. Those who are patronising the Games can only be evil. They cannot be God, Aiyar said. Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, nobody can spoil the Commonwealth Games. Things are on track, stadiums have been built. If Mr Mani Shankar had continued to be the sports minister, probably we would not have seen these stadiums, Kalmadi said.