Prime Minister Narendra Modi today had a meeting with his visiting Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina…
New Delhi,Chander Shekhar Luthra(dna): With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to host International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Monday, the issue of bidding for 2024 Olympic Games is sure to come up for discussion.
dna has reliably learnt that Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) would find it hard to push for the Olympic bid after receiving a report in this regard from the sports ministry.
It all started when PMO asked the sports ministry to submit a detailed report in this regard a few days back. Basically, the PMO wanted a report from the ministry on how hosting Games of such a magnitude would actually benefit India, apart from other issues.
If top sources in the sports ministry are to be believed, then the detailed report submitted to the PMO doesn’t present a rosy picture at all.
In fact, the ministry has clearly mentioned about the corruption scandals while hosting 2010 Commonwealth Games in the national capital. Even the negative publicity after the Games that maligned India’s name has also figured prominently in the report.
Last but not the least, the financial losses incurred due to CWG have also got prominence in the report submitted to the PMO. However, one thing is for sure that the ministry has kept itself clear from the issue of either recommending or stalling the Olympic bid process.
“We’ve only submitted the true picture that every one knows. It is certainly not our intention to jeopardise any bid by our government,” said the top source in the sports ministry.
Interestingly, no official in the ministry was sure if Modi will actually take up the issue of the Games bidding with the IOC president or not? The only instruction that the ministry has got is to prepare for this important visit.
Before making such an important bid, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and government of India are bound to be on a common page. It is the duty of IOA to prepare the Olympic bid papers, while the government’s role is only to back the bid and provide guarantee.
If insiders in the IOA are to be believed, then no top official, including president N Ramachandran, is keen to host any international Games after the embarrassing 2010 CWG experience. This was the only reason why India didn’t bid for the 2019 Asian Games last year.
“Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) waited till the last moment to hear from India. OCA also extended the deadline in order to enable India to file Asian Games bid papers. But IOA failed to do so and the bid was awarded to Jakarta,” said a senior IOA official on Sunday.
It would be interesting to see how Modi would put forth his views to the visiting IOC president during his meeting. If he mentions his government’s intention to bid for the Games in 2024 or even later, then obviously the whole government machinery, as well as IOA officials, would have no choice but to make complete efforts to prepare a fool-proof bid till the September deadline.