The news of Sports Minister K B Ganesh Kumar being part of the junket for London Olympics has raised many eyebrows.
But the minister, who claims to have ‘seen London’ several times both as part of film projects and on personal visits, feels that the current contention on his scheduled visit is baseless and the journey, if materialised, will help know more about organising sporting extravaganzas, like the Olympics.
“As of now, I can’t say whether I will go for the Olympics.
The protocol says that I have to obtain clearance from the Prime Minister’s office which has not been through yet.
But if the journey takes place, then I can find out how the Olympics is conducted.
This will come handy in organising the 35th National Games (tentatively scheduled for December 2013) in the state,” he said.
Reacting to the allegations that he was squandering money while sportspersons are awaiting their prize kitty for almost five years, he said that an amount to the tune of more than `5 crore will be distributed to the sportspersons as prize money, which has been pending from 2008.
“The allegation of moneysquandering is totally baseless.
I have seen London a couple of times before and had decided to be present there as it would help develop sports in the state.
I still can’t find why there’s such a hullabaloo over a minister’s official visit,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources close to the minister said that issues regarding visa and clearance are yet to be settled.
They pointed out that in the present circumstance, only Kerala State Sports Council president Padmini Thomas can fly to London.
“Her journey has been cleared by the state government.
The documents of the other two, Sports Secretary M Shivshankar and the Sports Minister, are lying in the PMO.
Apparently, the Finance Department made a delay in dispatching its sanction order for the three people to fly to London.
Even if he gets clearance, the minister won’t be able to attend the inauguration ceremony.
The Assembly proceedings will end only by the end of this month,” said an official with the Sports Department.
But quite surprisingly the minister found support in T P Dasan, the former KSSC president.
He said there is no abnormality in a minister flying to the Olympics venue if he has got accreditation