'Probe Graft Charges Immediately as CWG Officials May Flee'

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS): The Samajwadi Party (SP) Monday said the government should immediately probe the alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games organisation as the officials involved in the wrongdoings could flee the country after the event.

"The probe should be done immediately. It is possible that the people involved would try to escape," SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said while participating in the debate in the Lok Sabha on the situation arising out of the delay in preparing for the Oct 3-14 mega event.

Yadav also demanded that the government should seize the passports of the officials involved with the Games.

He said the centre should take responsibility that the Games will be held smoothly.

"We had hoped the games will enhance the prestige of the country. But now the prestige is at stake. There is even an apprehension that we may have to bear insults (if the Games are not conducted smoothly)," Yadav said.

He said questions were being raised from all sides about the preparations for the games and people were levelling a number of allegations of corruption.

"If the total expenditure is taken into account, this will be one lakh crore (rupees)," he said, adding that strict action should be taken against those found guilty of wrongdoing.

He also said that due to the delays in readying the venues, Indian players will not get adequate time to practise to take advantage of the "home turf".

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) is alleged to have paid AM Films, an Indian-owned firm in London, over 450,000 pounds for services during last year's Queen's Baton Relay inaugural without proper tendering and paperwork.

Two aides of CGOC chief Suresh Kalmadi were suspended after an enquiry found that an e-mail from the Indian High Commission in London on the basis of which the firm was hired were tampered with.

This apart, CGOC treasurer Anil Khanna quit in the wake of allegations that his son's firm was unduly favoured in ordering the synthetic turf for the tennis stadium for the Games.

Audit watchdog Comptroller and Auditor General of India has also commented adversely on the cost overruns for the stadia being built or refurbished for the Games


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Title: 'Probe Graft Charges Immediately as CWG Officials May Flee'

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