news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 5, 2015 | 3.00 pm IST Just 26 days are left for the 35th National Games to be held in Kerala, but the event is caught in a series of controversies. The trouble has been brewing since a section of state media decided to boycott all events related to the mega sporting event, after it came to light that a sister company (event management) of a leading regional daily in Kerala was given a contract to the tune of Rs.10.62 crore for conducting a promotional event on January 20. The event called 'Run Kerala Run' will see a group run that will be held at 7,000 points across the state. Later on Saturday Kerala Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan clarified that the event management company was selected through usual bidding and the process of selection was transparent . He also pointed out that the company which had given the lowest bid had been selected. But for the past few days a section of the media has not been taking part in routine press meetings and functions related to the games. Meanwhile,ruling front MLA and former sports minister K B Ganesh Kumar resigned from National Games executive council on Saturday protesting against “the corruption and extravagance” involved in the conduct of National Games. Ganesh alleged that the Games organising committee was spending excess amount of public money in the name of preparation for the Games and the committee was diverting from its already declared objectives. These incidents have also invited barbs from the CPM-led Opposition in the state that has even threatened non-cooperation during the event in the backdrop of the controversies. "This was an event that should have become a model for the country... it is now caught in a tangle. A thorough probe should be conducted into the allegations of corruption" said CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan was the first to criticize the Games’ organizers. Allegations over delay in setting venue infrastructure and procuring equipment has also been reported in the media. Reports say that work at Green Shade Stadium in Karyavattom,Thiruvananthapuram, the main venue, is yet to be finished. Similarly, works at 31 venues in seven districts remain incomplete. Amidst all these controversies, the Games' chief commissioner Jacob Punnoose claimed on Sunday that so far no one has told him about anything going wrong."Unless someone tells me what's wrong, I am unable to give any answers. Unless someone points out what the issues are, how will I clear the doubts," he told media.He has also alleged that a section of the media, especially TV channels, have launched a fault- finding mission and anyone who speaks against the Games gets a lot of coverage and attention."Everything has been done in the most transparent manner and each and every development is there for all to see in the website. Everything is being done as per the guidelines," says Punnoose. Tweet

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