Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Commonwealth Games

Sheila Dikshit and CG scam

On 1/10/2011 I came across a sentence about Sheila Dikshit – “See how skilfully she handled the CAG report on CWG compared to how many other Congressmen blundered.” The writer wants Sheila Dikshit to be India’s Home Minister. Many people refer to Commonwealth Games as CWG but since Commonwealth is one word I refer to Commonwealth Games as CG.

I do not know what Sheila Dikshit did. Congress members who wanted B. S. Yediyurappa to resign a week before Karnataka Lokayukta submitted his report came to her defence soon after the CAG report. Lokayukta is a statutory authority. CAG is a constitutional authority. Delhi Lokayukta had submitted a report against Sheila Dikshit and PWD minister. Shunglu Committee report was against her.

Why is it that Sheila Dikshit continues as chief minister when there were three occasions when she should have quit? Did she threaten that she would not go down alone but take Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi with her? Did she bribe or threaten BJP members or other politicians? What did she do to silence TV channels about her?

Anyway CG scam is not over. On 3/10/2011 Headlines Today reported the continuing scam of CG stadia. Lakhs of rupees are given every month for maintenance of every stadium yet nothing is done to maintain them. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was renovated at the cost of 961 crore rupees and now 78 lakh rupees are spent to maintain it. On another stadium 56 lakh rupees are spent per month. Similar is the case other stadia. Where has the money gone? Shivaji Stadium that should have been ready before Commonwealth Games is not ready even now, one year after the event.

A corrupt chief minister’s place is in jail and not in India’s Home Ministry.

Sheila Dikshit and sanitary napkins

Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said that Delhi government will distribute free sanitary napkins to school girls. May be the money she and her colleagues made during the run-up to Commonwealth Games has run out and other sources have dried up and sanitary napkins contract is a way to make money.

Sanitary napkins are not a necessity. Till few decades back women did not use sanitary napkins. Around 70% of women in India do not use sanitary napkins. It is not the job of the state to provide sanitary napkins. After sanitary napkins it may be the case of free distribution of fairness creams, talcum powders, lipsticks, scents, perfumes and such things.

Sheila Dikshit has shown no concern about the safety of women in Delhi. Some years back a female journalist was murdered during night and Sheila Dikshit said that it was adventurous for a girl to go out at night. She did not talk about making Delhi safe for women at all times. She did not say law and order in Delhi is under the jurisdiction of Union Home Ministry and the Union Home Ministry should do more to make Delhi a safe place.

After Commonwealth Games, the central government had appointed Shunglu Committee which submitted reports. The government acted swiftly after the first report which was against Prasar Bharati CEO B. S. Lalli. After that Shunglu Committee submitted reports against Sheila Dikshit, Tejendra Khanna and others but the government did not act against them. Union Home Ministry sent a report to Delhi government to get its reply. As expected Delhi government has refuted charges. Suresh Kalmadi said he was responsible for 1,600 crore rupees spent by IOA on Commonwealth Games and Delhi government spent 16,000 crore rupees. Suresh Kalmadi is in jail. Nothing has happened to Sheila Dikshit. Suresh Kalmadi was unpopular for the mess he made it. Sheila Dikshit was popular for the efforts she made to rescue the games. But that is a separate issue.

A Tale of Two Scams

After Commonwealth Games were over investigation into corruption in Commonwealth Games began by various agencies. There was lot of noise about raids. Contractors were raided. No raid on residence or office of any IOA official or minister associated with the Games.

Then Adarsh Society scam made news. Ashok Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra, offered to resign. The scam reports exposed many ministers, bureaucrats and defence personnel. Ashok Chavan’s predecessors who wanted to replace him were also exposed. Media reported about Adarsh Society and forgot about Commonwealth Games.

Rugby stadium built for Commonwealth Games at the cost of three hundred crore rupees is dismantled. Money spent on it is a waste.

Is it just a coincidence that Adarsh Society scam made news when Commonwealth Games scam was big news? Is it Operation Cover-Up to save people involved in Commonwealth Games scam? Are ministers in Maharashtra pawns who can be sacrificed to save king? Why did coverage of Commonwealth Games scam stop? Are people of India taken for a ride? Adarsh Society was in the making for many years. Why were no reports about the scam? One newspaper claims it reported about the scam in 2003. What did it do after that? The newspaper defends Suresh Kalmadi. Its reports on corruption in Commonwealth Games did not have anything significant. It talked of ignoring corruption. That is journalism of corruption. One TV channel claims it reported about the scam when it reached 27 floors. Why did it remain silent after that?

There are other scams as well. One channel mentioned that CAG report put loss suffered due to 2G spectrum scam was 1.76 lakh crore rupees.

It seems Adarsh Society scam reports are an attempt to make people forget about Commonwealth Games scam. Those who manipulate media should remember that you cannot fool all the people all the time. Even if one person sees through the game, the game is over.

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