2G scam: PM did not act fast against Raja, says BJP

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NEW DELHI - Reacting to former Telecom Minister A Raja’s arrest, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday saying he did not act when needed against a member of his Cabinet.

The BJP demanded appropriate action against all those involved in the 2G spectrum scam.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said Raja’s arrest proved Dr. Singh did not act, when needed.

Jaitley, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, also criticized Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on his statement that there were no losses caused by the process of 2G allocation followed by Raja during his tenure.

Dubbing the arrest of Raja as ‘too little too late’, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: “Who are the rest of the people? BJP categorically wants to know that. Please don’t give credit to the government for the arrest. Government has to answer many questions before this finally comes to an end.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Raja along with his close aides - RK Chandolia and Siddharth Behuria today in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Chandolia was Raja’s private secretary during the rule of the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government. When the UPA returned to power in May 2009 and Raja returned as Telecom Minister, Chandolia was appointed economic advisor in his office.

Siddharth Behuria was the Telecom Secretary January 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. He signed off on the files that formalized the sale of 2G licenses.

The investigating agency questioned Raja for the fourth time today. He was questioned earlier on December 24 and 25 last year and on January 31.

The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G scam to it by February 10, when the case will come up for hearing.

Earlier this week, a report by a one-man commission, Justice Shivraj Patil, was handed over to new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. Justice Patil was asked in December to look into whether officials in the Telecom Ministry had, since 1991, violated government procedures and guidelines for allocating spectrum.

The CBI in its first information report had mentioned the loss as Rs.22, 000 crore based on the findings of Central Vigilance Commission, which had referred the case to it.

Raja was forced to resign from Union Cabinet last year after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)

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