NEW DELHI, Jan 24 (IANS) - The government Monday sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee's (OC) tainted chairman Suresh Kalmadi and his aide Lalit Bhanot from their posts following allegations of massive financial irregularities in holding the sporting event last year.
Kalmadi and Bhanot, who was OC secretary general, were forced out after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) voiced concern that the two were hindering the impartial investigation into the corruption allegations, new Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ajay Maken said.
Maken, appointed the Sports Minister last week, said Jarnail Singh, CEO of the organising committee, would take charge.
"The government has decided today to remove Kalmadi ... and Bhanot ... with immediate effect," Maken said in a statement.
"The move comes in light of the ongoing investigation by the CBI over allegations of corruption and irregularities in organization and conduct of Commonwealth Games and the concerns expressed by the CBI and in the interest of impartial and unhindered investigations," he added.
"Kalmadi has been directed to hand over charge to Jarnail Singh, who is also a member of the executive board of the organising committee," he said.
The move comes three months after the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games, clouded by allegations of corruption.
The long-awaited decision comes while an inquiry into the conduct of the Games is on by the CBI.
The CBI had told Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar that Kalmadi and Bhanot should be removed as their continuance was hindering the probe into the conduct of the games.
A group of ministers appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the Games had decided that the ministry of sports will decide on ending the terms of the games panel.
The CBI registered three FIRs in the cases related to the mismanagement of Commonwealth Games funds.