I was invited at PM’s residence, but was too busy: Kalmadi

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - His absence at the felicitation of the medal winning athletes raised lot of eyebrows, but Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, said Tuesday that he was invited to attend the function at the Prime Minister’s residence but couldn’t attend since he was too busy seeing off foreign athletes.

Kalmadi said that too much is being made out about his absence from both the functions, to felicitate Indian medal winners, hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“Too much is being made out of that. I was busy seeing off the thousands of international athletes who had come for the Games. The chef de mission rang me to tell that we have to attend a function at the PM’s residence but I told him that I cannot go because I was busy,” Kalmadi was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN news channel.

“I am not at all a persona non grata. I was seeing off athletes,” said Kalmadi.

Kalmadi’s statements come on a day when Income Tax officials raided 30 locations in Delhi on charges of bungling in funds of the Commonwealth Games.

Kalmadi, however, said that it was good that the probe has started and the Organising Committee is ready to answer all questions.

“I have not taken any decision on my own. It’s good that a probe has been ordered because the Prime Minister had committed this to the Parliament and the public. We will give all the answers,” he said.

Asked if he was nervous about the inquiry, Kalmadi said: “The storm was much earlier but now that we have delivered a good Games, it’s over. I am not at all nervous. We have given great Games and we are ready to give the answers now.”

Filed under: Commonwealth Games

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