Home India Politics After Raja, could it be Kalmadi next?

After Raja, could it be Kalmadi next?

By George Joseph, IANS,

New Delhi: Suresh Kalmadi, controversial chief of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games, may be the next political leader to be arrested on corruption charges by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), official sources said Wednesday.

A high-level meeting of CBI officials held in the capital recently found several cases of corruption involving Kalmadi in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay, purchase of equipments and the conduct of the Games, the sources told IANS.

The arrest could happen soon, they hinted.

However, a CBI spokesman declined to make any comment.

According to the sources, the CBI investigation is moving in a systematic way regarding three major corruption scandals – 2G spectrum allocation case, Adarsh Housing Society scandal and the Commonwealth Games corruption cases.

The investigating agency arrested three top persons – former communication minister Raja, his former aide R.K. Chandolia and former communications secretary Sidharth Behura in the 2G spectrum case Wednesday.

Action has been initiated in the Adarsh housing case with the filing of the first information report, which named former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan among those involved in the “criminal conspiracy”.

The focus will now be on action against Kalmadi as the two-week games in October 2010 had raked up several controversies and tarnished the image of the country, the sources said.

Three senior officials of the organising committee – T.S Darbari, Sanjay Mahendroo and M. Jayachandran – were arrested earlier. Darbari was set free on bail as the CBI failed to file a charge sheet against him within the mandatory time.

In continuing action in the Games investigations, the Shunglu Committee probing the issue Tuesday indicted two top officials of Prasar Bharati – Doordarshan director general Aruna Sharma and Prasar Bharati chief executive officer B.S. Lalli – for awarding contracts arbitrarily and causing a loss of Rs.136 crore to the public exchequer.

Tuesday’s report was the first stand-alone report by the Shunglu Committee. More probe reports on the construction of projects and the conduct of the Games will be submitted by the committee before March 31.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Tuesday said that stern action will be taken on the report after Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekaran submits his recommendations in a week.

All the preparations by the CBI indicate that Kalmadi, the high-profile Congress parliamentarian from Pune and a former secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party, may be the next to be arrested by the CBI, sources said.