Kalmadi to stay as OC head

New Delhi, Aug. 13: With the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, asking the Cabinet Secretary, Mr K.M Chandrasekhar, to oversee the preparation for Commonwealth Games to be held here in October, the top bureaucrat held a meeting with secretaries of the key ministries, which concerns with the mega event.

Sources said, the government at the moment is not in favour of removing Mr Suresh Kalmadi from the post of CWG Organising Committee chairman till the charges against him are proved.

But, since very little time is left for the Games to be conducted and allegations are being levelled against the organising Committee now and then, it has been decided to entrust the task of overseeing the preparation to the cabinet secretary, they added.

At the meeting, it is believed that Mr Chandrasekhar took stock of the preparations and sought details from the senior officers, who included secretaries to sports and urban development and chief secretary of Delhi.

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress’ top brass including the Prime Minister and the party president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, at the meeting of the core group also took stock of the situation.

It is believed that the senior leaders discussed and deliberated to evolve a fresh mechanism to supervise the event in the backdrop of a slew of corruption charges and delay in completion of various projects relating to the Games.

With Mr Kalmadi in the eye of a storm following allegations, the meeting is also believed to have discussed various options including setting up an oversight panel to steer the games without any further row.

Sources said that the core group has left it up to the government to decide on how best the Games can be successfully organised.

“A final decision on the issue is expected to be taken soon by the Prime Minister after he discusses it with the sports minister, Mr M.S. Gill, because of constraints like very short time left for the games,” they said.

Moreover, the Congress has distanced itself from Mr Kalmadi, as the party spokesperson, Ms Jayanti Natrajan, on Thursday said, “We do not hold any brief... Kalmadi is not there (Indian Olympic Association), as a member of Congress... the actions of Mr Kalmadi as president of an autonomous body are not connected with the party in any way.”

Meanwhile, the BJP has asked the PM to clear his stand on the graft charges.

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