By Duncan Mackay

January 6 - A bid from New Delhi for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will not be discussed until after this year's Commonwealth Games, Suresh Kalmadi (pictured), the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), said today.

Kalmadi has long harboured ambitions for Delhi to bid for the Olympics and sees the Commonwealth Games, which are due to open on October 3, as a launchpad for a campaign to bring them to India.

With Beijing having hosted the 2008 Olympics, India, with a population of 1.1 billion, is now the most populous country in the world never to have staged the Games.

But Kalmadi, the chairman of the Commonwealth Games organising committee, wants to make sure first that this year's event passes off successfully despite the troubled build-up amid international concerns over the building of facilities and security worries.

He said: "I don't want to talk about this issue now.

"Let us first make the Commonwealth Games a huge success, then only we can think about bidding for Olympics."

Kalmadi's views appear to be at odds with those of India's Sports Minister M.S. Gill who, last November, claimed that they should scrap any plans to bid in the near future because "I do not think the common man [in India] wants an Olympic Games".

But Kalmadi believes that the infrastructure left behind by the Commonwealth Games will leave Delhi with a world-class city that could cope with the Olympics.

He said: "As far as infrastructure and development is concerned, Delhi will move ahead by five years because of the Commonwealth Games.

"It includes metro, airport terminal, roads and games venues.

"It will be a lasting legacy."

A number of cities around the world are considering launching bids for the Games, including Madrid, who have lost the last two races, to London in 2012 and Rio in 2016, and Tokyo, the hosts of the 1964 Olympics who were also beaten in the latest race.

The International Olympic Committee are due to announce the host city of the 2020 Olympics sometime in 2013.

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