Among the various efforts city MP Suresh Kalmadi made to clutch onto his position in election season was the resurrection of his website that had disappeared from cyberspace three years ago. The web campaign — which formed one of Kalmadi’s major publicity tools during the 2009 general elections — was removed in 2011 in the aftermath of his name surfacing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam.
The new website, though with the same domain name http://www.sureshkalmadi.org — is a rather subdued version of the previous web address, which included the three-time Lok Sabha MP’s vision for the city, the manifesto and even a blog, which was never accessed post the general elections. Interestingly, there is no mention of CYG, CWG — even in reference to taking credit.
The website, which shows Kalmadi standing alongside a statue of Shivaji Maharaj, interestingly has the 69-year-old former Indian Air Force officer donning what looks like his decorations and wings. With adjectives such as “true friend of slum-dwelling poor” and “true champion of slum-dwellers”, the website claims that Kalmadi has always been at the forefront “in resolving the issues of slum-dwellers in Pune”.
From roads to flyovers, and from giving the city its identity as the education hub and IT-Biotechnology city, the city MP has been responsible for all the development in Pune — if the website is to be believed. According to the website, he “facilitated huge concessions from PMC for the IT-BP businesses” due to which “the IT entrepreneurs were attracted to Pune through the setting up of industrial areas in Hinjewadi, Kharadi, Ranjangaon, Taloda and Magarpatta City”.
Interestingly, while the Congress logo is justifiably missing — given that the MP was expelled from the party post-CWG scam — there is no mention or even clarification regarding the scam that was cited as the reason for the end of his political career.
Launched with much fanfare on April 7, 2009, the website earlier hosted Kalmadi’s biodata, photographs of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, his ‘Vision 2020’ for Pune, election manifesto, testimonials, an interactive window for voters, besides other features. It went dormant since April 2011 in the aftermath of scam. He had also opened a blog and a Twitter account. The blog was never accessed after his election win in 2009.