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Marandi wants Games probe

Ranchi, March 2: JVM president Babulal Marandi today demanded a judicial inquiry into the expenses incurred by the state in organising the just concluded 34th National Games.

Marandi proposed that a retired judge of the high court should head the inquiry committee and submit a report within a set time frame.

Addressing a news conference, the JVM chief said the National Games were originally scheduled in 2007, but repeated postponements due to various reasons would have forced the state to lose large sums of money. He asked the government to come out with a white paper and furnish detailed accounts of the penalties paid by the state owing to deferral of the Games earlier.

Besides, Jharkhand bagged the fifth position at the Games after borrowing players from different states, Marandi added.

“It is high time the government pointed out who were responsible for the delays and what actions have been taken against them. It should also give details of payments made to Bollywood artistes in the name of organising cultural programmes,” he said.

The former chief minister alleged large-scale irregularities in the purchase of sports equipment for the Games. “The vigilance bureau has begun a probe after being ordered by Jharkhand High Court,” he added.

Marandi also pointed fingers at distribution of passes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the mega sports event. “I was given four passes. Some of my friends received eight to 10 passes. The chief minister and his deputies retained thousands of passes. The government should clarify what criteria was selected for distribution of passes,” he said.

The JVM president condemned the government for not felicitating land donors, who made way for setting up of Khel Gaon and other sports venues, during the Games ceremonies. “Sporting veterans and artistes from Jharkhand were ignored,” he rued.

He pointed out that JMM president Shibu Soren was hooted out while addressing the closing ceremony. “Not a single big personality came to witness the Games, apparently because the main organisers were charged with acts of omission and commission. The national media too refused to give it a good coverage. Host Arjun Munda himself was the chief guest at the closing ceremony,” Marandi added.

Replying to a question, Marandi said the JVM would thoroughly expose the “real face” of the Arjun Munda government. “Today, we are airing our feelings through mass media. If it refuses to listen, we will be forced to swing into action. We have completed our homework neatly,” he added.

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