Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Air Force Fighter Pilot dons title of "Sports Mafia"

Suresh Kalmadi (born May 1, 1944) is an Indian politician and senior sports administrator. He is a member of the Indian National Congress political party. He is the president of the Indian Olympic Association, Asian Athletics Association, and Athletics Federation of India. He is currently being investigated into for his possible role in the misappropriation of $10 Billion allotted for the hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Early years
Suresh Kalmadi studied at St. Vincent's High School, Pune in the state of Maharashtra in South West India; and then at Fergusson College, Pune. In 1960, he joined the National Defence Academy, Pune, and in 1964, he joined the Air Force Flying Colleges in Jodhpur and Allahabad. He served the Indian Air Force between 1964–1972 and was a recipient of eight medals in his career. After a premature discharge from the Air Force, Kalmadi ran a small fast food shop in Pune and was spotted by Sanjay Gandhi during one of his trips there and was one of the young people at that time that he convinced to join politics with the Congress Party. Kalmadi has served effectively in various capacities with the Congress since and is now one of the wealthiest businessman as well in Pune even from his known sources of income.
He was the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress from 1978-1980. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for three terms from 1982 to 1995, and again in 1998. He was also elected to the 11th Lok Sabha in 1996, and to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004. Presently, he is the sitting MP from Pune. During the tenure of P. V. Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister of India, Suresh Kalmadi served as the Minister of State for Railways from 1995 to 1996.
Political Strides
He was the President of the Indian Olympic Association and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of recently concluded Commonwealth Games held in Delhi from 3 to 14 October 2010. On October 11, 2008, in Pune, Kalmadi was elected president of the Indian Olympics Association for the fourth time
During the felicitation ceremony that had been arranged to honour the three Indian medalists at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Kalmadi reportedly walked out because he had not been offered a chair next to the Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari. In January 2010, former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh accused Kalmadi of being a 'sports mafia'.
CWG Scam
The conduct of 2010 Commonwealth Games has come under public scanner and legal scrutiny as well with the Chief Vigilance Commission (an apex anti-corruption body of India) asking CBI to probe certain aspects of the games' organization. For this, the opposition demanded the resignation of Suresh Kalmadi. It has been alleged that illegitimate wealth created through over reporting (inflating) of games costs has been parked with the Jaypee Group, through financial involvement of his son, Sumeer Kalmadi, in the F1 circuit project at Greater Noida. However, Kalmadi continues to deny corruption charges. Finally, in spite of repeated attempts at meeting with the PM, officials in the PMO have thwarted any direct meeting between the two since the Commonwealth Games controversy. Finally, minutes before the start of the Winter Session of Parliament on 9 November 2010 the Congress party gave marching orders to Suresh Kalmadi. He is still in the media glare and continues to deny any corruption or money laundering!
Wikipedia Inputs; Click here

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