Shourie claim of talking to PM on 2G scam baseless: Congress

Friday, February 11, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Congress Friday described as “baseless and irresponsible” former communications minister Arun Shourie’s statement that he had apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the 2G spectrum scam two years ago but there was no response.

At the routine Congress briefing, spokesperson Manu Abhishek Singhvi said: “It is a baseless and irresponsible statement about the prime minister and his office.”

“It is aimed at diverting the attention from the acts of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, in which Shourie was a member,” the Congress leader added.

Shourie, talking to journalists of the Indian Express group here Thursday, said he had “apprised Manmohan Singh and subsequently alerted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)” about the 2G spectrum corruption under minister Andimuthu Raja in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Shourie also claimed that he even introduced a whistleblower to the CBI.

Shourie said he “had asked the PM in 2009 if he could meet his principal secretary T.K.A. Nair to give the details”. But there was no response from the PMO, he added.

Singhvi wondered why Shourie was coming out with the statement two years after he claims to have apprised the prime minister.

The Congress spokesman pointed out that Shourie has spoken after the Justice Shivraj Patil Commission report made critical observations about the way Shourie and the NDA government tackled the 2G spectrum issue.

“Why was he keeping mum all this time?,” Singhvi asked.

The 2G spectrum allotment in 2008 under minister A. Raja, now in CBI custody, has raised a major controversy. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in its report submitted to parliament in November, put the notional loss to the public exchequer at as high as Rs.1.76 lakh crore.

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