WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding The Philippines also had a help from the bench from Hungarian coach Eggidy Gabor. Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago View comments Read Next PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games “In Singapore we didn’t get a medal (and went home without a win) I heard they are going to disband the team if we lose here now,” said Canete. “So I decided to help.”Head coach Rey Galang lavished praise on Canete for taking care of the offense while team captain and goalie Tani Gomez Jr., was in charge of defense.READ: SEA Games special siteAlso scoring for the Philippines were Mico Anota, Reynaldo Salonga Jr., and Mummar Alamara.“I think we are in a much better shape now than when I came back,” said Canete. “We just need to sustain this and remain focused.”ADVERTISEMENT Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ Cutting through the water with strong strokes and then rising for accurate shooting, Canete scored six points in the Philippines’ surprising 9-7 win over Thailand.Canete, a single parent with two teenaged boys, was working as a swimming instructor in Dubai for six years.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: PH opens SEAG bid on high note, nips Thailand in water poloBut last year, the team asked him to come back. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Thailand silences PH to advance to AVC semis PH water polo top scorer Roy Canete. Photo by Marc ReyesKUALA LUMPUR—Teodoro Roy Canete had to make a big decision to leave a lucrative job in Dubai to “help save” Philippine water polo.That started to pay off Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension
Ebondo saves Scorpions from Heavy Bombers View comments Read Next Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LATEST STORIES BACOLOD CITY—Philippines Football League champion Ceres Negros seeks to keep top spot as it clashes against Myanmar’s Shan United in Group F of the AFC Cup on Tuesday at Panaad Stadium here.Held to a 1-1 draw by Home United a week ago in Singapore, the Busmen hope to rediscover their lethal form against the Burmese champions who are coming off a 2-1 away win over Boeung Ket in Phnom Penh.ADVERTISEMENT Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City With only the top team guaranteed of making the next round, every game counts for the Busmen who have four points just like Home, but own a superior goal difference.Ceres struggled to put away Shan United before winning on penalties in the AFC Champions League preliminary stage in January.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Busmen are aware of the threat posed by Shan United and coach Risto Vidakovic was quick to remind his players that a repeat of the performance against Home last week may not be enough to get a result at Panaad.Fortunately for the Busmen, they’ve been almost unstoppable at home in the continental competition, losing only once in the last three years. “Every game is different and it’s also important,” said Vidakovic. “We cant afford to be overconfident just like what happened last week.”Meanwhile, Global Cebu collides with Group G leader Yangon United at Thuwunna Stadium also on Tuesday in Yangon.The Cebu side leaned on an impressive performance from Patrick Deyto to preserve a 1-1 draw against Indonesian side Bali United last week at Rizal Memorial Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding
Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The defeat sent the Philippines to the bronze-medal match against either Indonesia or Vietnam.Coming into the SEA Games, the Nationals were aiming to end their medal drought in the biennial meet that dates back to the 2005 Manila edition, when they bagged a bronze.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We still have a chance to medal. This is still an achievement for us, making the semifinals,” said PH coach Francis Vicente.Formed just three months ago and playing as one team just six weeks back, the Philippines barged into the Final Four with a rousing win over Malaysia (25-18, 25-11, 25-16) Thursday. It had its chance to top the group stage but the Philippines yielded a straight-set loss to Vietnam (26-24, 25-12, 25-23).Vietnam, the silver medal winner in the last SEA Games, and Indonesia were locked in the other semifinal battle.If Vietnam wins, the Nationals will have to deal with Indonesia, a team led by explosive spiker Aprilla Manganang.Manganang had a beef to settle against the Philippines, whose officials questioned her gender during the 2015 Singapore edition.However, the 25-year-old Indonesian said the controversy is now water under the bridge when she came to the Philippines last year for the Asian Club Championships.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Khan fears for McGregor in Mayweather bout Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Philippines’s Jovelyn Gonzaga (top L) returns the ball against Thailand players during their volleyball women’s semi-finals match at the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur on August 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFANKUALA LUMPUR—The Philippine team displayed its best form in the tournament but still failed to measure up to Thailand to lose a 25-21, 25-17, 25-17 decision Saturday in the Southeast Asian Games women’s volleyball semifinals here.The Thais, who regularly play in top-level tournaments like the World Championship and Olympics, didn’t hold their punches against the all-heart Filipinos and played their best players up until the end.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo
LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NBA players go on trial in 2015 Phoenix assault ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Austin arrived in the country last week to join the PH team and is one of the prospective naturalization candidates for Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) moving forward.Also, fresh from winning his fourth gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Kiefer Ravena has been called up anew for national team duty.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingCarl Bryan Cruz will also be a part of the team after impressive showings in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup and the 2017 SEA Games, together with cadets Raymar Jose and Almond Vosotros.Gilas pool members LA Revilla and Norbert Torres were also tabbed to bolster the team. No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Teaming up for the first time since their days in Xavier School, brothers Jeron and Jeric Teng will also be in the fold.Completing the squad are UP swingman Jett Manuel, TNT guard Alfrancis Tamsi, and Congolese big man Rod Ebondo of CEU, who will act as the team’s second import in lieu of UP’s Bright Akhuetie, who failed to secure a clearance from the UAAP.Flying V’s Gab Banal and AMA’s Andre Paras will also join the team in the tournament as the squad’s reserves.Sources close to the situation bared the roster. Gilas submitted the list on Monday.Reyes and Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas will make the official announcement during the team’s sendoff on Tuesday at Discovery Suites Hotel in Mandaluyong.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netDebuting for the first time in the national colors, Isaiah Austin will be front and center for Chooks-to-Go Gilas Pilipinas when it wages war against club teams in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup.The 7-foot-1 center headlines the 12-man roster coach Chot Reyes will be banking on Chenzhou, China from September 22 to 30.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments Big names like Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo were absent in the list as Reyes could not get a clearance from the players’ mother ballclubs despite Alaska and GlobalPort already being booted out in the playoff race of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.Chooks-To-Go PH is slotted in Group A and will play ONGC of India, Mono Vampire of Thailand, Petrochimi of Iran, and Sarreyet Ramallah of Palestine in the group stages.Advancing to the latter stages could also mean a collision course against Filipino naturalized player Andray Blatche, who is suiting up for his mother ballclub Xinjiang Flying Tigers of China.Gilas is set to leave for Chenzhou on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games
They call it Murphy’s Law, the adage that “everything that can go wrong will go wrong”. For the organisers and stakeholders of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, it’s a law that is being self-perpetuated with grim consequences. Days before the Games were to begin, two men on a motorcycle sprayed,They call it Murphy’s Law, the adage that “everything that can go wrong will go wrong”. For the organisers and stakeholders of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, it’s a law that is being self-perpetuated with grim consequences. Days before the Games were to begin, two men on a motorcycle sprayed a bus carrying Taiwanese tourists with pistol fire in the Jama Masjid area, critically injuring two and triggering a fresh security scare; an overbridge meant to ferry athletes and spectators from the main stadium to the car park collapsed, injuring 23 labourers; parts of the false ceiling of the weightlifting venue at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium came crashing down and an advance party from New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland raised serious concerns about the unhygienic conditions in the residential zone of the Games Village constructed under the supervision of the DDA.Collapsed footover bridge near the main venue.The Village was to be officially opened on September 23 and just two days before that it was in an “uninhabitable and filthy” condition, says the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Mike Hooper, with human excreta clogging the toilets, stray dogs sleeping on beds meant for athletes and officials, and switches, faucets and lifts that didn’t work.To add to the embarrassment, the secretary general of the Organising Committee (OC), Lalit Bhanot, came out with the shocking, even bizarre statement, “Our hygienic standards and foreigners’ hygiene standards are different”; thereby implying that Indians are fine with excreta and filth in their living accommodation. If that wasn’t enough, the security arrangements were exposed by an Australian TV crew that managed to smuggle ammonium nitrate, an explosive, in a detonation box into the main venue, Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, an ominous sign in view of a purported Indian Mujahideen e-mail received by a media house soon after the Jama Masjid firing, threatening to target foreigners at the Games.advertisementIt’s a chain of disasters that sends a dubious message to 70 other participating nations on the eve of the arrival of athletes. There’s more. The heavy rains have ensured that the Yamuna, adjoining the Games Village, is flowing above the danger mark, heightening the scare over dengue. It was no great surprise that some top athletes from England declared they were pulling out of the Games, including world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu.Countdown to CrisisJawaharLal Nehru Stadium: Rs 961-crore project by CPWD. 11 days before the Games the ceiling of the weightlifting complex falls; a pedestrian overbridge in the main complex constructed by the PWD collapses.Commonwealth Games Village: Worth Rs 1,000 crore, constructed by DDA. Termed “uninhabitable” on the eve of the arrival of participating athletes.Indira Gandhi Sports Complex: Renovated at a cost of Rs 669 crore by the Sports Authority of India. The velodrome has suffered damage due to waterlogging and seepage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pressed the panic button and deputed Delhi Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna, also DDA chairman, to personally oversee the clean-up operation. In contrast, Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, who heads the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted last year to ensure effective coordination between 54 agencies to make the Games a success, seems unfazed. Calling the concern about cleanliness as “not major”, he stressed that “the Games next month would be absolutely world class”.Such is the Nero-like fiddling by officials, with top dog Suresh Kalmadi maintaining an eerie silence, that the threat to the conduct of the Games and the prospect of other hurriedly built venues and structures collapsing, mean India’s image has taken a serious beating. “The writing was on the wall,” says a senior member of GoM who insists that he will come out in open with details of mismanagement after the Games are over. “If they are to happen, that is,” he adds. The Government opened the doors of the treasury in the name of country’s honour, with the cost of the Games now reaching an estimated Rs 70,000 crore.The Games Village, worth more than Rs 1,000 crore, with 14 blocks and 34 towers having 1,168 air-conditioned flats that can house over 8,000 athletes and team officials, was handed over to OC by the DDA as late as end of last month. When the chefs-de-mission from participating countries, who started moving in by September 15, raised concerns about the cleanliness, the OC promptly shifted them from their allotted towers to the one meant for the Indian contingent.”I have never seen such under-preparedness in my life. I don’t think we’ll get any big event, such as the Olympics, in future.”Kunjarani Devi, weightlifter advertisementTroubled Trio: (From left) Kalmadi, Dikshit and Gill are shirking responsibility.During this time, there were some 12,000 labourers engaged at the site putting overlays in place, and without effective monitoring by the OC. They defecated in the bathrooms meant for players and no cleaning up was carried out before they were opened for inspection just two days before the players were to shift in. Weightlifter Kunjarani Devi slammed the shoddy work for the Games, saying “I have never seen such under-preparedness ever in my life”. Adding that she was ashamed of what was going on, the ace weightlifter said the CWG mess will affect India’s chances to bid for sporting events. “I don’t think we’ll get any big event, such as the Olympics, in future,” she said.As the situation stands today, there can’t be a bigger contrast to the stated objective: to deliver the best Games ever, showcase project India as an economic power and Delhi as a global destination. Documentary proof of the mess was provided by the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) probe in August this year when it carried out inspection at 16 Games-related projects by agencies such as the PWD (under the Delhi Government), CPWD, DDA, NDMC and MCD (all under the Government of India).Shattered window pane of the bus attacked near Jama Masjid.Explaining the modus operandi, the CVC said that agencies created alarming circumstances and used them as an alibi to demand more funds and induct favourite contractors without adhering to the safeguards. These conditions were artfully created under the nose of the GoM which kept sending positive signals while the Government kept hiking budgets. The allocation in the last two years to the tune of Rs 7,271 crore while a paltry sum of Rs 378 crore was given for the preparation of teams. These renewed targets and budget need to be approved by the GoM, but nobody in the Government questioned the cost escalations.Sports Minister M.S. Gill was forthright in articulating his ministry’s resolve to keep things open and transparent, but has been an embarrassment himself by first refusing to acknowledge world wrestling champion Sushil Kumar’s coach, even pushing him aside, and then refusing to answer questions when the excreta literally hit the fan. He brushed aside the CVC report, saying action has to wait as the “focus must now be on the success of the Games”.The swollen Yamuna with the Games Village in the background.Top functionaries in the ministry are now looking for a face-saver even as the hostess of the Games, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, known for her great working rapport with Gill and Reddy but not with Kalmadi, took no action. She wanted to wait for the full report, assuring “account and accountability will be fixed”.Dikshit blamed the rains for the mess which is a politician’s favourite ploy to divert attention and accountability. The national shame is as much about shoddy workmanship, corruption, inefficiency and lack of transparency as it is about how India is exposed as a country with First World ambitions and pompous declarations with Fourth World mentality. India’s biggest Games are becoming its biggest embarrassment and no one knows when the next disaster will strike.advertisement
A 500-m, Rs 8-crore artificial reef installed six months ago off Kovalam beach is making waves. It is meant to help protect the eroded beach, enhance fish stocks and boost tourism, but some of its geo-textile bags have been washing ashore, prompting fish workers and environmentalists to demand an inquiry.,A 500-m, Rs 8-crore artificial reef installed six months ago off Kovalam beach is making waves. It is meant to help protect the eroded beach, enhance fish stocks and boost tourism, but some of its geo-textile bags have been washing ashore, prompting fish workers and environmentalists to demand an inquiry. Kerala Tourism, however, is undaunted. It has launched the global campaign for the coming season in style. A Rs 1.5-crore promotional film, Your Moment is Waiting, made by Prakash Varma (of the Vodafone Zoozoo ads fame) will be screened at Saatchi Gallery, London and will be later shown along with the Julia Roberts starrer Eat Pray Love, which was shot in Kerala, at theatres all over the UK; it also features international model Miriam Ilora. In March this year, Kerala Tourism’s innovative campaign in the UK using cabs plying in Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham sporting exotic images from God’s Own Country like elephants and snake boats was noticed widely. “The UK being our biggest overseas market, it makes sense to launch our global campaign here,” says V. Venu, secretary, Kerala Tourism.
Ace shooter Gagan Narang wins his third gold in men’s pair 50m rifle 3 position, partnering Imran Hasan. This win has taken India’s gold haul to a remarkable 16 in the Commonwealth Games.Narang wins his third gold in men’s pair 50m rifle 3 position, partnering Imran Hasan.He and Imran Hassan Khan score Games record 23-25 points in men’s 50 metre rifle three positions.
Somdev Devvarman ensured that tennis contributes in India’s swelling gold medal tally as he grabbed the much-awaited yellow metal, pipping Australia’s Greg Jones 6-4, 6-2 in the men’s singles final of the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.Somdev, CWG top seed and world number 97th, was carrying millions of hopes on his shoulders after established stars Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza failed to strike gold.He has been the face of India on the singles circuit and yet again gave India a memorable moment to cherish.”People underestimate how tough it is to get a gold medal. I worked really hard this week. I am really happy,” Somdev said after the match.”It has been one of the best things in my career for sure to win a gold medal in front of this kind of crowd,” he added.India’s Somdev Devvarman reacts during the men’s singles tennis final against Australia’s Greg Jones dring the Commonwealth Games at R K Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTIIn all, India’s medal tally from the tennis event stood at a disappointing four after starting as favourites in at least three of the five events in the debut year of the sport in the Games.Jones, ranked 234, put up a gallant fight in the first set and never looked like one who is yet to win his first match on the ATP tour but was never the same in the second set, in the start of which he encountered a knee problem.advertisementAt 15-15 in the opening game of the second set, Jones ran to reach out for a ball and hurt his left knee in the attempt.Although he came back after a short treatment but was not the same force as spate of errors marred his game and chances as well.Somdev was up 5-0 in no time but then let Jones get on board while serving for match. He though sealed the gold medal when Jones hit another long forehand.Somdev fell on his back in joy and got up amid thunderous applause. The summit clash lasted one hour 27 minutes.Defeats of the pairs of Paes and Bhupathi and Paes-Sania in team events badly hit India’s chances of dominating the tournament, from where several top players had pulled out.Sania contributed two medals in four by winning a silver in women’s singles and a bronze with Rushmi Chakravarthi in women’s doubles.–with PTI inputs
The first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows,The first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows were virtually stolen by powerful politicians, bureaucrats and defence officers who abetted construction on disputed army land. Chavan’s relatives owned three flats in Adarsh. He was confident that his mentors – a guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, and Rahul Gandhi – would save him. Chavan was self-delusional. It was the judiciary that forced the political class to move. On December 22, a division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice U.D. Salvi hearing the case noted, “Everybody who was supposed to clear a file has been gifted (a flat in Adarsh).”Adarsh was not the only scandal in the Year of the Treasure Hunter. The total loot of the public exchequer in 2010 is estimated to exceed Rs 4 lakh crore. An analysis reveals that real estate is corruption’s biggest cash cow. According to realtors, 60 to 70 per cent of the price of property transactions in all major Indian cities is in cash. A finance ministry report of December 2009 states: “Of the Rs 4,500 crore seized in income tax raids, around Rs 2,000 crore involves land. Politicians are earning money per sq ft of the floor space index awarded to construct buildings. This is a result of commercialisation of politics,” says former Mumbai High Court Judge B.G. Kolse-Patil. The CBI discovered that it was Chavan, who as state revenue minister in 2000 cleared the society’s ownership conditions to admit civilians along with defence personnel, thereby opening up a real estate gold-mine. “The Congress is the fountainhead of corruption in the country,” says BJP leader Rajnath Singh. advertisement Raja as telecom minister flouted rules to grant spectrum licences to select companies. Though Chavan’s declared income in 2009 was Rs 24.61 crore, in reality he owns assets worth hundreds of crores. He bent laws to get flats for politicians, bureaucrats and army officers in a housing society meant for Kargil heroes and widows.The BCCI accuses Modi of financial bungling and his relatives of making money through IPL bids. In 2010, allegations of corruption – referred to by Wharton academic Jitendra Singh as “a kind of shadowy market” – were made against the spectrum of the national establishment. Politicians like Chavan, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Suresh Kalmadi and Mulayam Singh Yadav; senior army officers like former army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Major General R.K. Hooda stole the headlines of the year with a glittering cast of friends, mentors and hangers-on from the media and bureaucracy.Chavan’s personal assets run into hundreds of crores of rupees. In his hometown Nanded, Chavan Inc owns dealerships, real estate worth crores, sugar mills and educational institutions. He insists that his commercial ventures are legal and he has done nothing wrong. For a politician who declared his net worth as Rs 24.61 crore in 2009, INDIA TODAY investigations revealed that the estimated worth of assets held by Chavan and his family amount to much more. “The politicians in the entire country are corrupt. Why talk only about Maharashtra?”says Kolse-Patil. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray says, “We are facing a challenge to cure the disease of corruption.” Chavan, however, is defiant. “The investigations will prove my innocence,” he says. The CAG report pointed out massive corruption in the CWG and claimed crores were stolen by officials and contractors. The Karnataka chief minister refused to resign over charges that government land was allotted to family members. This land was returned after a judicial inquiry was set up. When he was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh between 2004-2007, foodgrain meant for the poor was diverted.The country has got used to the idea of corrupt politicians. It was shocked to learn that officers of the rank of general and admiral were involved in Adarsh. “Here is a man whom we trusted, here is a person on whose orders we were ready to go to battle,” said Chief of Staff General V.K. Singh about his predecessor General Kapoor. In his application for a Rs 80-lakh apartment, General Kapoor lied that his annual income was Rs 2.8 lakh while when it was actually around Rs 7.2 lakh. When this application was turned down, the then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh used his arbitrary powers to clear it. Adarsh is not the only example of Kapoor’s real estate adventures. The Haryana Government gave him a Gurgaon plot for Rs 36 lakh with a lock-in payment period of five years – a knockdown price for land valued at Rs 7.5 crore. In Sukna, West Bengal, army land was allegedly given to builders at throwaway prices. The military court indicted two army officers for this deal – one of them was Kapoor’s staff advisor Lt. General Avdesh Prakash. Kapoor reportedly used his clout to save Prakash from a court martial. The armed forces have earned the unsavoury nickname, the “Harmed Forces”.advertisementReal estate besmirched the reputation of Karnataka’s Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as well. In June 2010, Yeddyurappa was preparing for a spotlight moment, ordering a bespoke Italian suit from Bangalore fashion designer Prakash Lamba as a change from his usual white safari suit to preside over the two-day Global Investors Meet in Bangalore from which he expected to raise at least $66.3 billion as investments for Karnataka. In private, Yeddyurappa was taking decisions that would blow up in his face. On November 17, 2010, Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde announced there was enough evidence to establish a prima facie case against Yeddyurappa.The Opposition released documents – around 2,000 of them – alleging that Yeddyurappa flouted rules to get prime land worth Rs 500 crore allotted to family members; his sons BJP MP B.Y. Raghavendra and Vijayendra became beneficiaries of state largesse after their father became the Karnataka deputy chief minister in 2006. Raghavendra was allotted a government plot in Bangalore under the MP’s quota and paid Rs 10 lakh for the land whose market value was over Rs 2 crore. Yeddyurappa also denotified the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) land which his sons and son-inlaw Sohan Kumar allegedly grabbed at throwaway prices. Yeddyurappa’s daughter Umadevi was allotted two acres of government land to set up a BPO. Some of his family members were allegedly allotted five acres in Shimoga to build a hospital, and two acres for a factory in Bangalore. In March 2010, 11 more acres in Bangalore worth crores were denotified in Vijayendra and Raghavendra’s favour against the advice of the BDA and the Urban Development Department. Later, his kin returned the land following a judicial inquiry. Five previous chief ministers gave similar deals to their relatives including Dharam Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy who is yet to return the land allotted to him.”The names of my family members are being dragged into imagined corruption cases to cover up their (Opposition’s) own misdeeds,” says Yeddyurappa, responding to the Opposition’s charges of corruption.The Opposition also alleges that the chief minister took a bribe of Rs 20 crore from the Bellary-based South West Mining Ltd; supporting documents claim that the money was allegedly deposited into the bank accounts of Raghavendra, Vijayendra and Sohan Kumar. Graft FilesAccording to corruption watchdog Global Financial Integrity,Rs 20,79,000 crorewas transferred out of the country illegally between 1948 and 2008.That money could repeat the UPAI farm loan waiver scheme 35 times.************************************************In 2008, black money in India amounted to Rs 28 lakh crore. Just half of that could retire India’s foreign debt.The remaining would be enough to give every Indian Rs 14,000.advertisement************************************************The Swiss BankingAssociation Report of 2008 reveals that Indians hold $1,891 billion in deposits. That’s about Rs 8,50,950 crore; in Rs 1,000 notes laid end to end, this amount would girdle the globe more than 37 times.************************************************With the 2G money the Government lost thanks to Raja,8,800 crore solar power plants generating 1 MWeach could have been put up nationwide, enough to resolve our electricity shortage many times over.************************************************The estimated amount paid by Indians as bribes to the legal system is Rs 2,360 crore.If land was exploited by the corrupt, the skies were open to political plunder as well. On November 14, the DMK, unable to withstand the heat from a belligerent Opposition, a hostile Congress and an angry media, ordered Andimuthu Raja to resign as telecom minister. Raja was accused of favouring select telecom companies- Swan Telecom, Unitech, S-Tel, Datacom Solutions, Idea, Spice, Systema, Tata and Loop-in acquiring 2G spectrum licences in a valuation game which is estimated to have cost the country a notional Rs 1.76 lakh crore. “As a lawyer, I will abide by the law, not evade it,” Raja said. His slogan during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was “Oru kilo arisi oru rupa, oru hello 50 paisa” (One kg rice at one rupee, a hello on the phone at 50 paise).The Niira Radia tapes exposed how much his hellos cost the country. Veteran Congress leader of Tamil Nadu EVKS Elangovan says “Karunanidhi must’ve been aware of things.” In power, there is no free lunch. So what did the telecom companies give Raja and Radia in return of the favours? The CBI and the ED are investigating a money trail that leads to the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Mauritius. “Raja represents a front for a number of undesirable organisations. He is a front for anti-national agents,” says Subramanian Swamy, Janata Party president. There may be political exaggeration in the accusation.Raja stuck to his chair for 400 days after the scam surfaced. A CBI official claims that the minister used this time to manipulate or destroy evidence. No incriminating documents were found when the agency raided his house on December 8. According to one source, documents were also destroyed at Radia-owned Vaishnavi Communications’s office in Delhi. Employees had burned thousands of documents to prevent them from falling into the hands of the CBI. “The Government should constitute an Integrity and Ethics Commission urgently to check corruption and initiate stringent action against corrupt practices,” says ASSOCHAM President Dilip Modi.The climate of venality spawned a variety of hunters who sought to seize what they could. Public anger began to mount. When Suresh Kalmadi, the most visibly tainted face of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, walked into a Delhi restaurant on a late October weekend, he was surrounded and heckled by diners who called him a thief. The CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) estimate that the 66-year-old Congress Rajya Sabha MP caused a loss of Rs 5,000-8,000 crore of public money through financial and administrative malfeasance. In 2003, the Indian Olympic Association estimated the Games would cost the country Rs 1,620 crore. By 2010, the bill had risen to Rs 11,500 crore. With other additional expenditure, the Games expenditure was estimated to be around Rs 30,000 crore, making the 2010 Commonwealth Games the most expensive sporting event ever. CBI sources says that of the Rs 665 crore spent on overlays, around Rs 200 crore was stolen. Following the CVC report on financial misdemeanors, the CBI raided the IOA offices and arrested close Kalmadi aides T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahindroo and treasurer Jayachandran.Some of the statistics are stunning. The infrastructure cost for the CWG was Rs 2,904 crore but Rs 5,503 crore was released. Where did the extra money go? The CVC investigated 16 Games-related projects totalling Rs 2,477 crore and found that corrupt officials and contractors tampered with initially discounted tenders. The organising committee inflated bills by at least 30 per cent. The CBI raided Kalmadi’s residences in Delhi and Pune. “I am innocent till proven guilty. I have not taken any decision alone,” Kalmadi says.Many more careers and reputations tumbled as other skeletons of corruption fell out of hidden closets. In Mumbai, private financier Rajesh Sharma, chief of Money Matters (India), and senior bank officials were arrested in a bribes-for-loans affair. The arrests have made corporate India uneasy. Though the licence raj has ostensibly ended, lobbyists are still needed for project clearances. “We need to be clear about what is defined as corruption. In an economy where competition and enterprise are driven by individual endeavours, and there is no strong government hand, these things flourish,” says P. Shankar Raman, executive V-P (finance), L&T. Following these arrests, the market value of LIC Housing Finance shares plummeted from Rs 10,159 crore to Rs 2,365 crore. Investors lost Rs 2,300 crore in a day. “There are enough regulatory bodies in the country but they don’t have the teeth to enforce regulations,” says Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG, one of the largest of audit, tax and advisory services firms in the world.There was one unusual instance of corruption. While Adarsh, the CWG and other scams largely involved powerful cabals, Ketan Desai, president of the Medical Council of India, was the lone ranger of graft. His modus operandi was to ask for bribes in return of government recognition for private medical colleges. After the CBI arrested him for accepting Rs 2 crore as payola for one such deal, raids conducted in Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Ahmedabad revealed that Desai and his family owned 10 houses, two commercial properties in Mumbai and gold worth Rs 39 lakh.During the Adarsh hearing, Justices Marlapalle and Salvi asked, “Why has no FIR been registered except the one on the missing files in the case? Don’t tell us committees will be formed to conduct inquiries. Committees are formed and dissolved, nothing happens.” Nothing happens because a corrupt system closes its ranks to protect its own. India remains stuck in the purgatory of corruption.- With Nivedita Mukherjee, Kiran Tare and Nirmala Ravindran