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Suresh Kalmadi arrested in Commonwealth Games Scam

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2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi was arrested today by Central Bureau of Investigation on charges of irregularities during the XIX CWG held in New Delhi last year. Kalmadi was earlier summoned to the CBI headquaters for questioning, his third visit to the agency headquarters, before being arrested. Along with Kalmadi, two of his assciates from the Organizing Committee Surjeet Lal, deputy director general (procurement) and A SV Prasad, joint director general (sports) were also arrested.

India's ruling Congress party swung into damage control mode and wasted little time in suspending the MP from Pune. AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi announced "The disciplinary committee of the Congress has suspended Suresh Kalmadi from the membership of the party,". Kalmadi was sacked on January 24, 2011 as Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman when stories about graft surfaced.

The CBI alleged that Kalmadi had illegally awarded contracts to a Swiss firm for Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system and registered a case under section 120B (conspiracy) read with Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act. The three arrested officials will remain in CBI custody tonight and will be produced in a court on Tuesday.

So far several officials have been arrested in the CWG scam case including the OC's secretary general Lalit Bhanot, director general VK Verma and Kalmadi's personal assistant Shekhar Deorukhkar.

Two of India's other major political parties, the BJP and the CPI(M) said the arrest of Kalmadi was “belated” and only the “tip of the iceberg.”

Meanwhile Minister of Sports & Youth Affair Ajay Maken is working on finding a loophole which would allow the government to replace Kalmadi as head of the Indian Olympic Association. Kalmadi has held that post for the last 15 years and has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of resigning. Most of the appointees in the IOA General Committee are said to be close associates of the sports supremo and are unlikely to initiate a move for his dismissal.