PM loses cool over Games mess

Shame game: Gill and Reddy get a mouthful from Singh

PM loses cool over Games mess

Singh took the two ministers to task both at an emergency meeting he convened on Thursday evening and at the Friday cabinet meeting as shocking reports and pictures of unkempt toilets and living rooms at the Village, beamed by the BBC, were picked up by the media here.

The snubbing of the Sports Minister came at the fag end of the Friday cabinet meeting when he wanted to make a power-point presentation on the CWG but the Prime Minister stopped him saying enough has been said on the Games and there was no need for a discussion on it.

Singh, who lost his cool, pointed out that what was needed was action. “Forum of the cabinet is not required to discuss Commonwealth Games. The matter was discussed yesterday (Thursday),” Singh told Gill.

Next in line was Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, whom the Prime Minister castigated for the sloppy work at the sporting venues and shoddy preparations that have marred the built-up to the Games.

Singh severely criticised Reddy, who heads the Group of Ministers on CWG preparations, for the sloppy work at the venues, the Games Village, cleanliness and the fall of foot overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Country’s image
Earlier on Thursday’s meeting, in which Reddy, Gill and Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit participated, Singh sternly told them that passing the buck was not right and that India’s image was being tarnished by the Games mess.

He said no mistake by any department would be tolerated in handling the Games and told them to make sure there was no further embarrassment. The Prime Minister also did not spare Dikshit for the delay in works. At one stage, he even asked Gill to keep quiet.
Informed sources said Singh was upset over the lack of coordination between ministries and agencies working on CWG-related work.

He added that the Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, who was kept away from the meeting, was not the only person to be blamed for the sad state of affairs and warned that action would be taken against those found not doing enough.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan on Friday said Manmohan Singh has directed all those involved in CWG preparations that everything should be done to ensure success of the mega-sporting event. “With only a few days left, the Prime Minister took personal initiative saying that no stone should be left unturned to see that we successfully conduct the Games,” he said.
DH News Service

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