PUNE MP Suresh Kalmadi Saturday got a shot in the arm when Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M Veerappa Moily not only shared a dais with him but also called him a great friend. Kalmadi was suspended by the party after his name was linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam.
The duo,who met at the inauguration of the new auditorium at Kannada Sanghas Kaveri Group of Institutes in Eranadwane,interacted off the dais for a few minutes before the start of the event,raising many eyebrows.
While Kalmadi did not address the gathering,Moily in his speech,major portions of which were in Kannada,made a brief mention of Kalmadi as a great friend.
In contrast,Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal was conspicuous by his absence at the inaugural function of Pune festival. Sibal,according to the programme schedule released by the festival organisers,was to attend the event,which is being organised for the past 25 years under the leadership of Kalmadi.
Meanwhile,opponents of Kalmadi termed Moilys comment as a passing remark and said nothing much should be read into it.
Moilys comment came out of courtesy as he was sharing the dais with Kalmadi, they said. However,Kalmadis supporters said,It was a major morale booster for him.