Raja’s arrest does not affect credibility of PM, Govt.: Congress

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NEW DELHI - Congress Party on Wednesday reacting to former Telecom Minister A Raja’s arrest in the 2G spectrum scam investigations said it would not affect the credibility of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

“Apart from you, there is no one in the world who will say that the credibility of the Prime Minister or the government is affected. It has allowed the law to take its own course, independently and objectively,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.

“You cannot start criminal proceedings against anyone just because someone has made a demand,” he added brushing aside the demands made by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa that the entire family of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi be arrested following the action against Raja.

AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa today said the arrest of A Raja in the 2G-spectrum scam raised more questions than answers and alleged that it was a ‘purely political’ decision keeping in mind the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.

She also demanded the arrest of others, including immediate family members of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, allegedly involved in the scam and said her party will not give up its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the scam despite Raja’s arrest.

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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