Kalmadi claims government appointed officers at his behest

Kalmadi claims government appointed officers at his behest

"We are in the final phase for the Commonwealth Games. We requested the prime minister and the cabinet secretary to give us 10 government officers. They have come at our request and they will co-ordinate. They have not come to take over the organising committee as reported in some sections of the media. The media is saying that my wings have been clipped, probably because I was a fighter pilot," said Kalmadi at a press conference.

The officials, of the rank of additional secretary and joint secretary, were named by the Cabinet Secretariat and given charge of one stadium, a government spokesman said.

The officers are Subodh Kumar (additional secretary, Department of Telecommunication), S.R. Rao (additional secretary, Department of Information Techonolgy), R.C. Mishra (additional secretary, Ministry of Urban Development), Amarjeet Singh (executive director, Janasankhya Sthirata Kosh, Ministry of Health), J.S. Deepak (joint secretary, Ministry of Commerce), Rohit Nandan (joint secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation), Shashi Shekar (OSD, Power Trading Corporation Ltd), Taradatt (joint secretary, Cabinet Secretariat), Gopal Krishna (secretary, Sports Authority of India), Rajeev Kapoor (joint secretary, Department of Personnel and Training) and Injeti Srinivas (joint secretary, Ministry of Sports).

The newly appointed officials will report directly to Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, the spokesman said.

Deepak will be in charge of the sprawling Commonwealth Games village coming up on the banks of the Yamuna river. The Indira Gandhi stadium will be overseen by Misra and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the city's heart which will host the opening and closing ceremonies by Rao.

The appointments came on a day when United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chief Sonia Gandhi made it plain that the October 3-14 Games were "a matter of national pride and efforts should be made to hold them successfully".

Thursday's move followed widespread reports of corruption and delays in the preparations for the Games, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to meet ministers and officials Saturday to review the works.

Earlier Thursday, Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell met Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for about 30 minutes to discuss issues related to the Games and infrastructure development.

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