Games chief quits politics


NEW DELHI, November 9 – The chief organiser of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Suresh Kalmadi, has stepped down from a senior post in India's ruling Congress party amid a probe into alleged corruption around the event.


"Suresh Kalmadi’s resignation as Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party has been accepted with immediate effect by the Congress Party," Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told AFP.

Dwivedi would not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Kalmadi’s exit, but the chairman of the Games organising committee has borne the brunt of public criticism for the soaring costs, shoddy planning, and graft allegations that tainted the October event.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a panel in October to investigate the corruption charges.

Kalmadi, 66, is a veteran MP from the Congress party, and has headed the Indian Olympic Association for 14 years.

Earlier this year, the sports ministry ruled that sports officials will only be allowed to serve in their post for a maximum of 12 years.

Kalmadi responded angrily to the new guidelines, calling them a "diktat", but the Delhi High Court upheld the ministry ruling, fuelling speculation that his tenure would end soon.