Oppn says Raja`s arrest too little too late

Opposition termed former Telecom minister A Raja`s arrest as "too little too late" and said it has strengthened the demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam.

Last Updated: Feb 02, 2011, 23:41 PM IST

New Delhi: Opposition on Wednesday termed former
Telecom minister A Raja`s arrest as "too little too late" and
said it has strengthened the demand for a JPC probe into the
2G spectrum scam even as the Congress asserted that the
development had not dented credibility of the Prime Minister.

Describing Raja`s arrest as "belated", senior BJP
leader Arun Jaitley said, "I wish the Prime Minister, instead
of living in denial, had acted three years ago so that this
huge, monumental loss to the public exchequer had not taken
place".

Maintaining that the arrest had vindicated its demand
for a JPC probe, he said the spectrum was allocated at "a
grossly under-stated value" and the selection of companies was
"an act of favouritism .... as to whom it is to be allotted
in 2007, early 2008. More than three years have elapsed and
for over three years this government was in denial".
BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the arrest was
"too little too late. It is very unfair to say that Raja alone
had gulped Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Who are the rest of the people?
BJP categorically wants to know".

Launching a blistering attack on the government, CPI
(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the arrest proved, "there is a
very deep malaise behind this whole scam that needs to be
investigated not only from the point of view of punishing the
guilty but also to plug the loopholes in the system which was
manipulated in such a big way to facilitate such a massive
fraud".

Once constituted, the JPC would have to work "with a
historical frame in mind as to how the telecom policy was
manipulated over all these years, how it was arbitrarily
changed depending on who is getting the shares of profit. All
these have to be comprehensively probed", he said.

Maintaining that the development confirmed the need
for JPC, CPI National Secretary D Raja said, "The arrest was
expected. This is just the beginning. The arrest can trigger a
series of questions on the role of the PMO and previous
Telecom ministers".
However, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi
dismissed suggestions that Raja`s arrest has affected the
credibility of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his
government, saying unlike other Opposition governments, the
UPA has allowed the law to take its course.

Both Yechury and Raja lambasted Telecom Minister Kapil
Sibal, saying his "defence" of the irregularities in the
allocation of spectrum was "entirely repudiated" with the
arrest.

PTI