New Delhi: After a privilege motion was moved against him, Sports Minister Ajay Maken asserted that he stood by his statement in the Parliament that the then Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was responsible for selecting Suresh Kalmadi to head the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

“I still stick to my statement I made in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha,” Maken told reporters outside Parliament after the BJP moved a privilege motion against him in both houses.

The Sports Minister also slammed the Opposition for not seeking any clarification on the statement, as per the procedure and straightaway moving a privilege motion.

“In Rajya Sabha the procedure is once the minister makes a statement, then clarification remarks are sought from the minister. On Thursday when I made the statement in the Rajya Sabha, I sat there and waited for any clarification remarks to be sought,” Maken said.

“But then Mr S.S. Ahluwalia from the BJP said, 'today we are not going to ask any clarificatory statement'. Next day I went to Rajya Sabha rather early in the morning with the request, 'please seek any clarification'. Today also I went to the Rajya Sabha asking them, requesting them to seek clarifications,” he said.

“But I am appalled to see that instead of seeking clarifications on my statement, they are busy creating ruckus in the house and not letting me reply, and giving me a breach of privilege (motion),” he said, adding, “This is unfortunate.”

Maken stressed that he was hundred percent right with his facts when he gave his statement.

“I am hundred percent right on facts,” he said.

 “It was the host city contract signed on Nov 13, 2003, which led to the chairmanship of Suresh Kalmadi because IOA on Nov 1, 2004, getting benefit from the host city contract, elected -  not selected, not recommended - elected Suresh Kalmadi as the organising committee chairman,” he said.

Maken added that those who elected Kalmadi included Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Ajay Singh Chautala, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Tarlochan Singh, 'all from NDA, they unanimously elected Suresh Kalmadi as the Olympic Committee chairman, that is how Suresh Kalmadi became the chairman of organising committee'.

He also said that the Prime Minister's Office could not have done anything in Kalmadi's appointment.

“I have gone through all the papers and the  Prime Minister's Office could not have done anything else as far as the organising committee is concerned because on Sep 11, 2003, the government took the decision that the IOA should be empowered to appoint the organising committee and this along with the host city contract,” he added.

The BJP privilege motion against Maken was moved in the Lok Sabha by senior leader Yashwant Sinha while in the Rajya Sabah the motion was moved by S.S. Ahluwalia.

 

(Agencies)