GoM finalises Rahman's CWG theme song

"GoM has finalized the theme song. A.R. Rahman will give final touches and it will be presented before the people in 10 days," union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy told reporters after the two-hour long GoM meeting in Nirman Bhawan.

"The theme song will be the last song of the opening ceremony," Reddy told IANS, answering a specific question.

An official of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee said the song would be previewed at 9.45 a.m. Monday.

"The GoM has finalised the theme song. A preview will be held at 9.45 a.m. tomorrow (Monday) at the banquet hall of the Ashoka Hotel," the official said.

Reddy chaired the meeting of the GoM after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervened to take stock of the much-criticised preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

"The Group of Ministers heard a presentation on the theme song by A.R. Rahman. We discussed the theme song with Shyam Benegal and Bharat Bala, as well as Rahman, and we approved it in principle," Reddy said.

"The theme song generates excitement and gives the right message. The theme song will be released the for the people of India in 10 day’s time," he added.

Organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said: "I like the song." To a question if there were any concerns about the Games preparations, Reddy said: "No concerns at all."

"The old deadlines remain, but we must make up for the delay. We did take stock of various matters in the meeting, but we will not go into detail. Yesterday (Saturday), PM gave guidelines and we are absolutely confident about hosting the Games," Reddy pointed out.

He added that all matters related to the Games were discussed in the meeting. "We are still sticking to all the deadlines. Preparations for the games will be on track," he said.

The meeting was also attended by Sports Minister M.S. Gill, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and senior officials of the Central Public Works Department, the Delhi Development Authority and the Public Works Department.

The prime minister's intervention came after unending controversies relating to mega sporting event, beginning in 50 days, caused the Congress leadership to look for more sharp monitoring by the government.

The Congress core group discussed the issue Friday at the prime minister's official residence and decided that the government should step in a way to ensure no loose ends remain.

Observing that there had been slippages in the time schedules of some of the construction works and deficiencies had also been observed, the prime minister directed the concerned ministries to conduct thorough investigations into all the complaints that have been received of procedural and other irregularities.

The GoM has been empowered to take all decisions necessary for the smooth conduct of the Games and the cabinet will be briefed on the state of preparations on a weekly basis.

Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar has been directed to liaise closely with the GoM to ensure effective coordination among all the authorities concerned.

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