Spectrum scam: Pressure builds up on Govt to remove Raja

The opposition campaign for the removal of Telecom Minister A Raja is expected to gain further momentum next week.

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 15:12 PM IST

New Delhi: The opposition campaign for
the removal of Telecom Minister A Raja is expected to gain
further momentum next week with the CAG report on the 2G
Spectrum allocation set to be tabled in Parliament in the next
few days.

Highly-placed government sources said that the report
has been sent to the President by the Finance Ministry and in
the next three-four days it will be tabled in Parliament.

The BJP-led opposition has been demanding the sacking
of Raja on the basis of the Comptroller and Auditor General of
India`s report on 2G Spectrum allocation that is presumed to
have caused a revenue loss of up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
Parliament was on the issue since the Winter Session began on
Tuesday.

The CAG is believed to have accused the Telecom
Ministry of undervaluing 2G spectrum, sold to new players in
2008, and held that the allotment price was not realistic,
thereby resulting in revenue loss of up to Rs 1,76,700 crore
to the government.

The report is also understood to have castigated Raja
for ignoring the advice of Finance and Law Ministries on
allocation of 2G spectrum to benefit a few operators.

On his part, Raja has been asserting that he had not
done anything wrong and had only followed the policies pursued
by his predecessors.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who last night returned
from the G20 meeting in Seoul, is expected to consult
Congress leadership on the issue. So far, he has been evading
questions on the matter.

"Parliament is in session. It is not proper for me to
comment on a subject which is also probably in the court," he
had said.

Some Congress leaders feel that an immediate solution
to the Raja issue was unlikely. With DMK firmly backing Raja,
the Congress is virtually finding itself in a bind.

The politics of poll-bound Tamil Nadu has also
compounded the issue. Jayalalithaa has offered to extend
AIADMK`s support to the government if it dumped Raja, who
belongs to the DMK which has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha.

A senior minister said that there was no threat to the
government in any way in the wake of the 2G spectrum
controversy.

While Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has come out
in Raja`s defence, saying the CAG report on the Spectrum
allocation cannot be termed as an "indictment", the Congress
has given ample hints that if Raja would have been its
minister, he would have been removed long back.

The party is citing the cases of Ashok Chavan and
Suresh Kalmadi to seek a moral high ground.

PTI