CWG: the guilty must be punished
As expected the blame game has started in full swing and a lot of scandals are likely to be unearthed in connection with the CWG projects. The guilty must be punished if the government wants to restore its credibility and a thorough probe by our enforcement agencies must look into every aspect of corruption.
And it should not hesitate in examining even the powerful and the mighty regardless of their positions as central ministers or functionaries of the Delhi government and its allied agencies. People and the tax payers have a right to know whether their money was squandered by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. In fact, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s own clean image will be enhanced if he ensures that the guilty are booked.
But before the probe is completed let us not assume who all are guilty. Sheila Dikshit, Suresh Kalmadi, S. Jaipal Reddy, Manohar Singh Gill and all top bureaucrats have a right to explain their respective roles. Let us give them that right and wait for the agencies to reach the final conclusions. But that does not mean that some small time people should be made scapegoats and targetted. In this case, the targets must be people who took decisions leading to corruption or those who showed callousness and inefficiency in supervisory roles. The Nation’s pride was at stake and the message must go out that no one can mess with brand India (if such a thing exists) and get away.
I must say that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was ill-advised when she had in an attempt to absolve herself and her government made an attempt to deflect the blame on Kalmadi, Delhi Lt. Governor and others when the Games were in progress. She pleaded innocence before ill informed TV anchors and talked about the limited role of the Delhi government–how it has no powers over land and law and order etc. We all know that the Delhi government (as represented by the elected component) is a truncated government and its elected representatives have done little to push for a full statehood even after such a resolution was passed in the Delhi assembly with Dikshit as the Chief Minister. But no one seems to talk about statehood and anchors continue to believe that the CM here has similar status and powers as say the UP Chief Minister or the Haryana CM or others. In any case, passing the buck at the stage when the Games had taken off was not a good idea and even a low key person like the Lt Governor, Mr Tejinder Khanna was forced to write to the Prime Minister terming Dikshit’s attacks on him and others as unfair and an attempt to shift blame.
We have a right to know how the money was spent by the Urban Development Ministry and the Sports Ministry and who were the people who were awarded contracts for various projects in Delhi. There has been a talk that relatives or close associates of the top politicians and bureaucrats were given huge contracts and there were a lot of kickbacks. If that is true it is indeed shameful. We also need to know how did the group of secretaries function. One IAS officer was made in charge of each of the venues. Why did they fail especially the one officer who was made in charge of the Games Village.
Kalmadi was made the face of corruption of the Games but that does not mean that others should be presumed to be innocent till the probe gets completed. Kalmadi too must be subjected to a thorough inquiry and the Congress High Command must ensure that he should not be the one who is made a scapegoat. The Games were concluded successfully and it is time to take action against those who were guilty. Let us not falter this time. The whole Nation is watching.