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The CWG billions

Although I normally tend to disagree with almost anything said by Nitin Gadkari, I cannot help but agree with what he has said now. I don’t mean the thing about having `proof’ that all are indeed culpable, but the question that must have been on everyone’s mind since the announcement that the `Group of Ministers’ was going to discuss corruption in organising the commonwealth games. Kalmadi had a budget of only Rs.1600 crores (16 billion), while the total expenditure for the games, including all the construction work, was supposedly Rs.70,000 cr (700 billion). So why not probe where the rest of the money went? Why focus on only a tiny fraction? Anyone except those with unreasonable trust in the Congress party would wonder.

I also agree with Gadkari that the money siphoned out of these 700 billion went out by the Mauritius and similar routes. But I don’t agree that it is lying in Swiss banks. I expect it saw its way back to India as `Foreign Institutional Investor’ (FII) money, which flooded the stock market over last month. The figure for that is already $10 billion, i.e. about Rs.450 billion, which sounds like it could be the amount stolen from the CWG organisation kitty by the corrupt politicians and industrialists.

Corruption at this scale will probably never be fully exposed, since anyone who wants to probe this can be silenced, either by a gift of a few crores, or simply `silenced’.

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