PM backs Raja, blames NDA for 2G scandal

Action at any level if corruption proven, says Manmohan

PM backs Raja, blames NDA for 2G scandal

Telecom minister A Raja speaks at a press conference in Hyderabad on Monday. Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comment, Raja said he was ready to face any probe over the 2G spectrum scandal. AFPRaja, a senior leader of the DMK—a key ally of the ruling Congress-led UPA—is under attack from opposition parties for his alleged role in the granting of licences under the 2G spectrum in 2008, which resulted in huge losses to the national exchequer. During the last Budget session, the opposition parties had vociferously demanded the resignation of Raja over the matter.

The accusation against Raja has deepened further in the face of the massive success of the 3G spectrum auction, which fetched the government over Rs 67,700 crore as compared to the Rs 10,000 crore mobilised through new 2G licences in 2008.

Speaking to newspersons here, Singh supported Raja, saying: “I have discussed this issue with Raja. He has told me that whatever actions he took was on the basis of policies which were in place since 2003 (initiated during the NDA regime).”
The minister had also explained to him that the existing guidelines were followed, as resorting to a different yardstick for new entrants would amount to discrimination, Singh said.

Asked whether his government would tolerate such scale of corruption as alleged in the 2G licence scam, Singh said Raja had made his position clear in Parliament. He, however, admitted that there appeared to be a huge gap between revenue generated from 2G licences and the auctioning of the 3G spectrum.

The whole issue was being investigated, and the Central Vigilance Commission had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation  to look into the matter, Singh said.  “The process is on. If we come to know that there is any involvement at any level in corruption, we will take action,” he added.

Singh also promised “effective” action if any wrongdoing was found during probes into the alleged use of black money in Indian Premier League. He said the Finance Ministry “is investigating the matter. If anything comes out of it, then we will take effective action,” he said.

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