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GoM picks A R Rahman’s score for CWG theme song

After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took charge of CW Games, a GoM met on Sunday and voiced satisfaction over the pace of progress in preparations and also approved the theme song for the event composed by Oscar winner A R Rahman.

With the mega sporting event just seven weeks away and hit by allegations of corruption and financial irregularities, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy, who headed the GoM, made it clear there is no change in schedule and said there should not be any concern over some delays in meeting deadlines in the readiness of the stadia to host the events.

The nearly three-hour long meeting discussed the organisational details for the 11-day event starting on 4th October and discussed the broad contours of the opening ceremony.

The GoM heard the rendition of the theme song composed by Rahman.

“We discussed the theme song among ourselves and AR Rahman, (Film Director)Shyam Benegal and (Producer) Bharat Bala. The GoM has approved the theme song in principle. It will be before public in another 10 days,” Reddy said. He said some final touches have to be given for the song.

When asked whether delays in meeting deadlines was a matter of concern, Reddy said, “There is no concern. Absolutely confident on state of preparedness (of Games).”

To a question, he said there is no question of any change in schedules of the games.

Asked whether significance should be attached to the meeting since it came a day after Singh had met him for the first time as GoM chief, Reddy said ” We did take stock of various matters and are satisfied on pace of progress.”

Rahman when asked whether the GoM liked his selected score, said “Yes, everyone liked it.”

Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the beleaguered Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games, said “Everything is going well. I liked the song.”

The GoM was also meeting for the first time after alleged corruption and financial irregularities rocked the Games and against the backdrop of missed deadlines for the readiness of several stadia in the Capital. Singh directly stepped in yesterday and reviewed preparations for the games.

“Primarily the focus is on delivery of the Games and preparation of the various items required for the opening ceremony,” Reddy told reporters ahead of the meeting.

The others in the GoM include Sports Minister M S Gill. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also attended the meeting.

Sources said the idea was to ensure that the theme song becomes a sensation like Rahman’s own ‘Jai Ho’ composed for the film “Slumdog Millionaire”and Soccer World Cup theme song ‘Waka Waka’.

The GoM has now been empowered to take all necessary decisions for the smooth conduct of the event.

The GoM has been directed by the Prime Minister to meet immediately and frequently thereafter.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar was also directed to liaise closely with the Group of Ministers to ensure “effective coordination” among all the authorities concerned.

At Saturday’s meeting convened by Singh, the GoM was empowered to take all decisions necessary for the smooth conduct of the Games and refer any matter that may require further consideration to Finance MinisterPranab Mukherjee for a final decision.

The Cabinet will be briefed on the state of preparations on a weekly basis.

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