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Kalmadi, Chavan innocent, says Digvijay

Pune: The first voice of sympathy within Congress for sacked CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, now behind bars, came on Monday from senior leader Digvijay Singh who said he is "innocent" and that court could consider granting him bail.

Addressing party workers in Kalmadi`s home turf here, the AICC general secretary also batted for Ashok Chavan saying he felt that both the Congress MP and the former Maharashtra Chief Minister were "innocent" and that they would come out "clean". He however said these views were his personal opinion.

"I feel bad that Ashok Chavan had to step down from post of chief minister. It pains me that our brother Suresh Kalmadi is being made to go through hardships. In my personal opinion, I believe that both of them are innocent and will come out clean," he said.

"But whenever any corruption charges are levelled, Soniaji has to take action," he added.

Making a case for bail for Kalmadi, the Congress leader also felt that in the cases where the chargesheet had been filed and investigations were completed the judiciary should consider granting bail to the accused. He, however, did not name anybody in this connection.

A charge-sheet in the CWG scam has been filed in the court.

Kalmadi was arrested by CBI on April 25, 2011, for fraud and for conspiring with other officers of the Organising Committee to overpay a Swiss firm Rs. 95 crore for timing and scorekeeping equipment that was used at different venues during last year`s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. He is now lodged in Tihar jail.

Chavan had to step down in November 2010 after being accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Singh said Congress had always fought corruption.

It was because of the Right to Information Act brought by the Congress government that the recent scams, including those relating to the Adarsh Society, CWG and 2G spectrum, had come to light, he added.

"Congress has not spared anybody and we have acted in all cases. On the other hand, BJP has not touched Karnataka Chief Minister B Yeddyurappa who is facing charges of corruption," Singh said.

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