CAG Vinod Rai's remarks on former PM's role serious; Congress must reply: BJP

After the disclosure by former CAG Vinod Rai on 2G and coal block allocation scams, BJP on Friday trained its guns on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress leadership accusing them of "looting" the country through various scams, and demanded a reply from them.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 13, 2014, 00:35 AM IST

New Delhi: After the disclosure by former CAG Vinod Rai on 2G and coal block allocation scams, BJP on Friday trained its guns on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress leadership accusing them of "looting" the country through various scams, and demanded a reply from them.

"Former CAG Vinod Rai's disclosures are very serious and we demand that the Congress leadership should come forward and reply because the allegations are against the Congress leadership and then Prime Minister," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Javadekar said the former CAG's interview has confirmed "our charges that the UPA", led by the Congress, is responsible for causing huge losses to the country through the scams.

"BJP takes serious note of the interview given (to a media organisation) by the former CAG which reveals many things. It establishes our charge that former Prime Minister knew of every scam that happened in the UPA... He cannot plead ignorance.

"BJP knows very well that the former Prime Minister was in office but not in power. The power was with the party leadership, with 10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi's residence). This dual centres of has hurt the nation," the Minister said.

Javadekar alleged that while the former Prime Minister was warned by some of his cabinet colleagues, he chose to ignore them and allowed the scams to happen that caused huge losses to the country and hurt the economy.

"It is only because the Prime Minister chose to look the other way when the whole corruption was happening... Manmohan Singh cannot shirk away his responsibility in 2G, CWG, Coal scams... All these scams are the story of how the UPA and Congress looted this country left, right and centre," he said.

Javadekar also termed as "very serious" Rai's allegations that his phone was tapped and three Congress MPs put pressures on him for not naming the former Prime Minister in his report.

He rubbished the demand of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam for a narco test on Rai.

Javadekar said "correct" pictures on the scams are now emerging after the disclosures made by the former CAG.

The minister said the former Prime Minister had blamed Congress's coalition partners for the 2G and Air India scams as the ministries were being held by their leaders, but questioned "what he (Singh) would say on the Coal block allocation scam which came out when he was the Coal Minister between 2006 and 2009".

"About coal, I, myself had complained after which there was a CBI investigation and the reasons why they (coal blocks) were given to someone were not explained and why they were not given to others were also not explained," Javadekar said.

Former CAG Vinod Rai, who is writing a book on his days as head of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, has in an interview criticised Singh. Rai said he felt he felt Singh was part of the decisions to allocate 2G telecom spectrum on first-cum-first serve basis and coal blocks without auction.

"...In 2G and coal there is no way he (Singh) can shirk responsibility. In 2G all the letters written by (then telecom Minister) A Raja were to him and he was replying to those letters. I got no reply to any letter I wrote to him.

"On one occasion when I called on him, the PM said I hope you don't expect a reply from me, whereas he was replying to Raja twice a day. So how can he be not held responsible for the onus of that decision?" Rai had asked.