THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:V Sivankutty MLA on Sunday once again hit out at the organisation of the 35th National Games, this time alleging that money was splurged for the opening ceremony of the Games which ended up falling short of expectations and fooling the public.
“Apart from the opening ceremony held here at a cost of around Rs 15.5 crore, functions were also held at the other six host districts of the Games spending another Rs 5 crore,” Sivankutty said.
“The International Stadium at Kariavattom which hosted the ceremony was not even half-finished,” he said.
“Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had himself said that Kerala could not spend Rs 15.5 crore for the ceremony at the current situation.
National Games Secretariat CEO Jacob Punnoose had also said the same. So, who had forced the government to spend this amount of money?” Sivankutty asked.
“The spectators who arrived at the stadium were there to see the opening ceremony, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohanlal. The reception the speeches of the Chief Minister, Sports Minister and Union Ministers received was the public’s protest,” the MLA said.
Sivankutty also said that at all stadiums hosting the National Games, pictures of Oommen Chandy and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan were displayed.
“No photos of E K Nayanar was hung at venues while he was the CM when Kerala hosted the Games in 1987,” Sivankutty pointed out, adding that it was the images of Kerala’s sportspersons that adored the walls then.
“The Rs 1 crore that was collected at the time was by selling stamps with pictures of P T Usha and Shiny Wilson among the public,” Sivankutty said.