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'Nothing wrong with organisation of National Games'

Nothing wrong with organisation of National Games

Thiruvananthapuram: With a section of the media launching an attack on the organisers of the 35th National Games, to be held here, an official Sunday said so far no one has told him about anything going wrong.

The Games will be held at 30 venues across seven districts of Kerala from Jan 31 to Feb 14.

"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," said Games' chief commissioner Jacob Punnoose here Sunday.

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.

Till the beginning of last week, the progress of arrangements for the event got good coverage. However, trouble began after it was found out that a sister company (event management) of the leading regional daily was given a contract to the tune of Rs.10.62 crore for conducting a promo event Jan 20 -- which has been named 'Run Kerala Run' and will be a group run that will be held at 7,000 points across the state.

Despite the organisers and state Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan explaining at length, on several occasions, the manner in which the process of selection was conducted in a transparent manner, it has fallen on deaf ears.

With the CPI-M now taking it up, the media also appears to have got enough ammunition to attack the organisers.

"This was an event that should have become a model for the country... it is now caught in a tangle," said CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

What surprised many was the manner in which former sports minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar, who has been cut up with the big wigs of the ruling United Democratic Front ever since he lost his job as minister following a domestic issue with his then wife last year, Saturday quit from the organising committee of the event, stating that a lot of money is being spent unnecessarily.

Incidentally, during the 2012 London Olympics, the Kerala government, in which he was a minister, came under heavy attack following the visit of Kumar and a few others to London, stating that it was a waste of public money.

Kumar then defended himself by saying that his trip would only help in organising the National Games in the most professional manner.

"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," reiterated Punnoose, a former director general of police.

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