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PM should break silence on 2G Spectrum allocation: BJP

Expressing surprise at Telecom Minister A Raja`s comparison of 2G Spectrum to PDS rice, BJP on Thursday alleged that he had indulged in corruption to favour some companies and asked the PM to break his silence on the issue.



New Delhi: Expressing surprise at Telecom
Minister A Raja`s comparison of 2G Spectrum to PDS rice, BJP
on Thursday alleged that he had indulged in "corruption and
nepotism" to favour some companies and asked the Prime
Minister to break his silence on the issue.

"The PDS rice is distributed to the economically
deprived. The 2G spectrum was allotted to Reliance
Communications, Airtel, Vodafone, Swan Telecom, Videocon,
Unitech etc. Surely these are not deprived sections of the
society, which needed to be subsidised by A Raja," BJP
spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
She described Raja`s statement that difference between
2G and 3G spectrum is a difference between PDS rice and the
Basmati rice as "astonishing".

Alleging that 2G Spectrum went "for a song" as borne out
by the auction of 3G which realised an amount of Rs 67,710
crore against Rs 1,651 crore for the former, BJP demanded a
clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Raja`s
role in the earlier auction.

"How fair is the Prime Minister`s silence on this issue?
How long will the Prime Minister look the other way and
pretend that nothing has happened?... Only an FIR was filed by
CBI in the case and chargesheet has not been filed as yet. 3G
has only proved that the minister indulged in wrong
practices," Sitharaman said.

The main opposition hailed the success of 3G auction,
saying it showed how auctions involved a process where the
market mechanism determined the real cost of the asset being
sold.

"Spectrum is a valuable national asset. It belongs to
the government. When it is sold for to the private parties,
the government must necessarily get the market price of the
Spectrum," Sitharaman said.
BJP also tried to take credit for "transparent
auctioning" of 3G Spectrum, arguing that its criticism of 2G
allocation had forced the government to be "fair this time".

It also demanded that all issues related to 2G Spectrum
be probed.

"Two of the allottees diluted their equity immediately
upon the allocation of 2G Spectrum," Sitharaman alleged.

The licence and the Spectrum, which they obtained for Rs
1,651 crore, acquired a valuation of two billion dollars, or
over Rs. 9,000 crore, for dilution of equity, she said.

"Nine All India licences were allotted on this price.
Even on this valuation the loss was over Rs 60,000 crore," the
BJP spokesperson claimed.

PTI

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