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NEW DELHI: The Commonwealth Games cost overruns dominated the first day of the Delhi Assembly session as the opposition BJP demanded an explanation for the huge costs involved.
A few BJP MLAs borrowing a song from Aamir Khan's latest flick “Peepli Live” sang the “Mehngai Dayan” number, using steel plates and spoons as accompaniment. The commotion led to expulsion of the MLAs from the House.
After homage was paid to Shiv Charan Gupta, a member of the first Delhi Assembly who passed away recently, at the beginning of the session, the BJP MLAs asked for cancellation of Question Hour and demanded a special discussion on the preparations for the Games.
When Speaker Yoganand Shastri opposed their demand citing House rules, a few members rose and sang in protest. The commotion led to the expulsion of the members from the House and adjournment for 20 minutes.
The BJP members were later allowed in.
When the House reassembled, the BJP MLAs continued to press for discussion and the House was adjourned for a second time for 15 minutes. Discussion on the Games preparation was finally initiated by Prof. V.K. Malhotra who was critical of the Government's spending on the Games.
He said when the Games were first approved the budget was Rs.770 crore and over the year it has been on a steady rise and has now reached Rs.23,000 crore. Prof. Malhotra alleged that work not being completed on time was the major reason for the huge overruns. He said that the work for the Games began late and the Government has illegally diverted funds from the allotments meant for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
He also criticises the quality of work being carried out by pointing out that many pavements that were recently tiled have started to cave in and coming loose.
Speaking on behalf of the Government, Congress MLA Subhash Chopra criticised the BJP for not showing sportsman spirit and accused them of demoralising the players. He said he was proud of Suresh Kalmadi who was instrumental in bringing the Games to the Capital.
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