A Raja wants to prove innocence in 2G scam case

Raja has repeatedly said that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were in the loop over policy decisions related to 2G spectrum allocation.

Chennai: Former Telecom Minister A. Raja, who has been accused of indulging in a scam worth Rs. 1.76 lakh crore when in office, on Friday reiterated that he did everything in consultation with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, and said that he will prove his innocence in the 2G spectrum scam case.

"When I demitted office, I gave interview to the channels that I did everything in consultation with the Prime Minister. And thereafter, when I was arrested and when I advanced the argument before the court also, the same argument was submitted in the court. So, my stand is very clear... I will prove my innocence and I will send a note to the JPC," said Raja.

"I do hope that at least after the petition with my detailed note, they may call me," he added, while talking to mediapersons in Chennai.

Raja, who belongs to M. Karunanidhi-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has repeatedly said that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were in the loop over policy decisions related to 2G spectrum allocation.

According to media reports, a leaked draft report of the committee says Raja had tweaked the rules to award mobile permits to a few chosen companies, and that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were not informed about the changes.

The draft report has given a clean chit to the Prime Minister on the 2G spectrum allocation, saying he was misled by the then Telecom Minister.

The report blames Raja for tweaking norms in favour of a few companies. It rubbishes the loss figure of 1.76 lakh crore rupees estimated by the CAG.

Opposition members from the same committee from the BJP and the Left have said they disagree with the report.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad has described the report as 'a document of the Congress'.

"The media showed the JPC draft report on 2G scam extensively. This is a gross breach of Parliamentary propriety where any report draft is debated, discussed, amendments are moved in the formal meeting and thereafter views are taken," said Prasad.

"This is a matter of grief and surprise that violating the tradition of discussing the draft report in the meeting in which amendments would be moved, even before a discussion could take place, this has come out in the media. This is highly unfortunate and we condemn it,," he added.

The BJP has decided to challenge the report at a meeting on April 25.

"We have strong objections over it and we shall convey our serious objection, firmly and forcefully in the formal JPC meeting which is scheduled for April 25," said Prasad.

The government, which is under sharp criticism from the BJP and other opposition parties over the draft JPC report on 2G scam, has asked the opposition to refrain from speculation.

"The JPC report is yet to be finalised. JPC is going to meet, and once it is finalised, it shall be presented to Parliament. And that's the time we all shall debate it because we will have to look at what the reasons are in the report for the conclusion that they have arrived at and we don't know either at the moment," said Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal.

"So, I request the opposition and the media to refrain from speculating and to wait so that a proper debate can take place, both within Parliament and outside it," he added.

The 2G scam has damaged the reputation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government and also tarnished the image of the country's telecom sector.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet 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.