'I will be unhappy if Commonwealth Games succeed'
Firing another salvo at Commonwealth Games organisers, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has said that he would be "unhappy" if the event became successful, inviting a strong reaction from Indian Olympic Association boss Suresh Kalmadi, who branded him "anti-national".
Kalmadi in a swift response said it was good that Aiyar did not continue as sports minister since no stadia would have been completed in time. "Nobody can spoil the games. Things are on track," he declared, adding Aiyar's remarks are "irresponsible" and "anti-national".
Aiyar, who appeared to make a doomsday prophecy on the success of the October 3-14 games going by the state of preparedness, also said that anyone who is patronising the Games cannot be anything but "evil".
Aiyar's outspoken comments, which could stoke a controversy, came on a cloudy day with rain showers lashing many parts of the Capital causing problems to Games' preparations.
"I am delighted in a way because rains are causing difficulties for the Commonwealth Games. Basically, I will be very unhappy if the Games are successful because then they will start bringing Asian Games, Olympic Games and all these," the former union sports minister told media persons outside Parliament House.
The remarks by Aiyar, a vocal critic of the Commonwealth games, comes at a time when the Centre, the Delhi government and the organisers are keeping their fingers crossed.
Aiyar also said that instead of spending a whopping Rs 35,000 crore on the Games, the money should have been spent on children.
"Thousands of crores are being spent on circuses like these while the common children are being deprived of basic facilities to play," Aiyar said, adding all "expectations" from the Games had been belied.