Prime Minister intervenes to rescue Delhi Games

NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister promised a successful Delhi Com-monwealth Games yesterday, a day after he intervened to rescue the troubled event that has been beset by delays and allegations of corruption.

“The successful organisation of the Commonwealth Games would be another signal to the world that India is rapidly marching ahead with confidence,” Manmohan Singh said in his annual Independence Day address.

The Games, which open in the Indian capital on Oct 3, will be a “proud moment” said Manmohan, adding that no stone would be left unturned “to make it a success.”

On Saturday, Manmohan gave “overriding powers” to a panel of government secretaries to take over management of the preparation work with just 50 days to go.

The move was seen as a direct slight to the chairman of the Games organising committee, Suresh Kalmadi, who has faced increasingly vocal calls to resign amid the scandals swirling around the event.

Kalmadi, who has denied any wrongdoing and refused to step down, is a senior leader of Manmohan’s ruling Congress party.

“The committee of secretaries will review implementation and it will have jurisdiction over matters relating to the organising committee,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said Saturday.

“The prime minister further directed concerned ministries to conduct thorough investigations into all the complaints that have been received of procedural and other irregularities,” it said. “He said that those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment.” — AFP

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