Left slams PM for `loot` of public money through 2G allocation

Launching a scathing attack on the government for "loot" of public money through the 2G spectrum allocation and other scams, Left parties took PM to task for equating the loss with subsidising foodgrains to the poor.

Last Updated: Feb 16, 2011, 18:00 PM IST

New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on the
government for "loot" of public money through the 2G spectrum
allocation and other scams, Left parties on Wednesday took Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh to task for equating the loss with
subsidising foodgrains to the poor.

"On two vital issues confronting the nation and the
people, that is corruption and price rise, the Prime Minister
has virtually thrown up his hand saying nothing much can be
done. This is very unfortunate," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury
told reporters here.

"This is something that is completely unacceptable.
Subsidising the poor is one aspect but subsidising the rich
and saying that it is necessary, is just naked loot of the
country," he said.
Noting that Singh had said he was ready to appear before
any parliamentary panel even though the UPA was against a
Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam,
Yechury said, "If you are ready to appear before JPC or any
committee then why did you allow the entire winter session
to be washed out."

He said Singh "virtually tried to justify" the spectrum
scam by "comparing" it with the subsidies being given on
foodgrains, fertiliser and kerosene oil.
Yechury was referring to remarks made by the Prime
Minister during his 70-minute interaction with editors of
electronic media here.

The CPI(M) leader said, "In other words he (Singh) has
actually admitted to the fact that his government has been
subsidising the corporate sector by giving away national
assets like the spectrum in throwaway prices."

"The fact remains that the government did not collect what
was due (in 2G spectrum allocation), which was also a loss,"
he said, adding that the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh
crore could have provided food security to every Indian for
two full years.

In the same vein, CPI National Secretary D Raja said Singh
had sought to "explain" the 2G scam by asking if subsidies on
foodgrains could be called a loss.

"He should explain how corporate houses made such huge
profits. It was virtually a loot. Prime Minister did not
answer
that question. That is totally strange and that too from a
Prime Minister who is himself an economist," he said.

Maintaining that the Prime Minister did not say "a word
against corporate houses which looted money", Raja said his
answer on ISRO`s S-band allocation was not convincing.
Besides, Singh did not properly explain the steps to check
price rise.

On the Opposition-UPA standoff in Parliament, he said
Singh blamed the Opposition for disrupting the entire winter
session. "What was the Government`s role? He says Government
was making honest efforts. What has he done so far?" he posed.

PTI