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The athletes' accommodation blocks in New Delhi sparked concern in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games

The athletes' accommodation blocks in New Delhi sparked concern in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games

The athletes' accommodation blocks in New Delhi sparked concern in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games

India's main opposition party has demanded a parliamentary investigation on into the Commonwealth Games, which were hit by embarrassing allegations of corruption, building delays and cost overruns.

Since the event ended last week, Indian officials have been trying to deflect responsibility for the problems and implicate their political rivals.

The government ordered an inquiry to be headed by a senior bureaucrat, but the Bharatiya Janata Party asked for a parliamentary investigation instead.

The party also demanded that the games' ballooning costs be added to the list of things investigated. The budget for the competition rocketed to 700 billion rupees (£9.5 billion) from the estimated 18.9 billion rupees (£260 million).

Millions were taken by companies run by relatives of games officials, said Nitin Gadkari, the party president.

"The scandal should be probed by a joint parliamentary committee," he said.

Local media have reported similar corruption, with millions allegedly pocketed by officials and cronies.

The ruling Congress party has called for restraint from all sides, embarrassed by the row over responsibility between New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is the equivalent of the city's mayor, and the games' organising committee chairman, Suresh Kalmadi. Both are Congress politicians.

The games brought together about 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories of the Commonwealth.

Many countries considered withdrawing following long construction delays, the collapse of a foot bridge and the discovery of filthy conditions in the athletes' village just days before they were due to begin.

PA