New Delhi: Former Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar in 2007 had shot off a letter to the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram apprising him of the high-handed behaviour of CWG Organising Committee (CWG-OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi, but it failed to evoke any concrete action from Chidambaram. Aiyar had written the letter even before sending a complaint about Kalmadi to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The content of Aiyar’s letter, a copy of which is with Dainik Jagran, vividly explains how the law of the land proved weaker in front of Suresh Kalmadi, enjoying huge clout. It has been revealed how the Sports Ministry was arm-twisted to release funds.  Kalmadi used to manage orders to release funds directly from the Finance Ministry without even giving proper account of the expenses.

Aiyar in his letter, addressed to Chidambaram on Dec 5, 2007, had requested the Finance Ministry to remove the Sports Ministry from the procedure of allotment of funds to the CWG Organising Committee.

The Finance Ministry had ordered the Sports Ministry to release Rs 70.21 crore against expenses for five months. According to Aiyar, CWG-OC had not provided any account of such expense to his ministry. Even the Finance Ministry order did not specify the heads under which the money should be released.

It must be noted that the CWG-OC used to get loan from the government for its expenses and the Finance Ministry was authorized to clear the installments of such loans.

“It would be better if the Finance Ministry sanctions money to the OC. It’s desirable to keep the Sports Ministry out of the procedure. The Finance Ministry is better equipped in auditing such sanctions,” Aiyar requested in his letter to Chidambaram.

The letter also reveals that the issue of lack of transparency in the OC was also raised during a meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) in 2007 and a sub-committee was also formed to check irregularities. But even that committee was rendered helpless in front of Kalmadi.

“Organising Committee considers the role of the Sports Ministry is restricted to releasing money. Kalmadi wished money should be released without asking any question about it. Perhaps not asking question was the reason that organizing of CWG ended up into a big scam.” Aiyar wrote.

JPN/Bureau