Sure to get justice in CWG case: Kalmadi

Pune: Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi today said he was sure to "get justice" in CWG case and attributed the warm welcome accorded to him on his arrival in the city to its culture. "I have taken along with me all sections of society in the 30-35 years of my political life which has reflected in the warm welcome. Not only during good times but to support an individual in difficult times is the culture of Pune," he said in a statement.

"The law states that a person is innocent till proven guilty. I have full faith in judiciary and am sure that I will get justice," the former OC chief and Congress MP said. Kalmadi was yesterday given a rousing reception by his supporters when he arrived at Lohegaon airport here, almost nine months after his release on bail from Tihar Jail in the CWG scam case.

The incident has left the political circles baffled with the BJP city unit chief Vikas Matkari terming the incident as "against the culture of Pune". To welcome a person who is facing serious charges of corruption and who has tarnished reputation of Pune as its MP is against the culture of the city, he said.

Prominent among those who greeted Kalmadi, who has been suspended from the party, were former state minister Ramesh Bagwe and the city Congress president Abhay Chhajed who maintained that "Kalmadi`s arrival in the city would boost the morale of Congressmen".

Many city corpoprators cheered Kalmadi who had travelled some distance in an open car after his arrival last evening. Commenting on the response, Kalmadi said,"it reminds me about (former Maharashtra chief minister) A R Antulay against whom many allegations were made….After a fair trial he was acquitted".

Kalmadi`s arrival coincided with the last date of withdrawal of the nominations for the February 16 civic polls. The senior Congress leader has been a dominant factor in the civic politics as the party is pitted against NCP being led in Pune district by state deputy chief minister and Kalmadi`s known adversary Ajit Pawar.

In the run-up to the elections, Ajit made a sarcastic reference to the jail term of the "city Congress MP" in the wake of CWG scam. Both Congress and NCP are fighting the civic polls separately after failing to work out a pre-poll alliance. Meanwhile, NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was in the city to campaign for the party, appealed to people to give an absolute majority to NCP for development of Pune.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre has stated that the suspended MP would not participate in the party campaigning for the civic elections in Pune.