'Remove Raja' campaign set to gain momentum next week

'Remove Raja' campaign set to gain momentum next week

Highly-placed Government sources said that the report has been sent to the President by the Finance Ministry and in the next three-four days it will be tabled in Parliament.

The BJP-led opposition has been demanding the sacking of Raja on the basis of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India's report on 2G Spectrum allocation that is presumed to have caused a revenue loss of up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Parliament was on the issue since the Winter Session began on Tuesday.

The CAG is believed to have accused the Telecom ministry for undervaluing 2G spectrum, sold to new players in 2008, and held that the allotment price was not realistic, thereby resulting in revenue loss of up to Rs 1,76,700 crore to the government.

The report is also understood to have castigated Raja for ignoring the advice of Finance and Law Ministries on allocation of 2G spectrum to benefit a few operators.

On his part, Raja has been asserting that he had not done anything wrong and had only followed the policies pursued by his predecessors.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who last night returned from the G-20 meeting in Seoul, is expected to consult Congress leadership on the issue. So far, he has been evading questions on the matter.

"Parliament is in session. It is not proper for me to comment on a subject which is also probably in the court," he had said.

Some Congress leaders feel that an immediate solution to the Raja issue was unlikely. With DMK firmly backing Raja, the Congress is virtually finding itself in a bind.

The politics of poll-bound Tamil Nadu has also compounded the issue. Jayalalithaa has offered to extend AIADMK's support to the government if it dumped Raja, who belongs to the DMK which has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha.

A senior minister said that there was no threat to the government in any way in the wake of the 2 G spectrum controversy.

While Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has come out in Raja's defence, saying the CAG report on the Spectrum allocation cannot be termed as an "indictment", the Congress has given ample hints that if Raja would have been its minister, he would have been removed long back.

The party is citing the cases of Ashok Chavan and Suresh Kalmadi to seek a moral high ground.

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