Friday, July 30, 2010


Aiyar stands by his anti-CWG remark; to speak more after Oct 15
Headlines Today Bureau
Despite being snubbed by his party, former Union sports minister and Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday reiterated his anti-Commonwealth Games stand.
Saying he was happy to have said that the Games should fail and that his statement was being discussed in every household, Aiyar however said that he would now keep mum over the issue till October 15, until the sporting event concludes.
"Now that everybody is talking about it, I think, now I do not need to say anything more and I have promised that I will keep my mouth shut because somebody asked me to do so as they will successfully organise Commonwealth Games. Now, I will open my mouth on October 15," Aiyar said.
A day after the reports of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) taking note of alleged irregularities in several Games-related works, Aiyar ridiculed his detractors who called him anti-national over his remarks on the conduct of CWG.
Taking a dig at Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, Aiyar said, "Whoever has said this (anti-national), his talks are a matter of jest."
Aiyar denied that the Congress leadership had passed a gag order against him. "High command has not told me anything. This is my own decision that when my views on the issue are being heard in all households, then what is the need to issue more statements," he said.
Aiyar had on Tuesday said, "I am delighted that it is raining as it will cause difficulties for the CWG Federation."
His comment was widely criticised, including by some prominent leaders of his party. Kalmadi, himself a Rajya Sabha MP, went up to saying, "India would not have got the world class stadiums had Mani Shankar Aiyar still been the sports minister."
Meanwhile, main opposition party BJP has found more ammunition in the raging war of words over the Games. BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should intervene and reveal the truth.
Rudy also claimed that Aiyar might be eyeing a Cabinet berth through his outrageous comment.
- With PTI inputs

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