2G spectrum scam: A Raja to make a statement in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi, Apr 29 (ANI): Union Telecom Minister A Raja will make a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, giving his defence on the controversy over his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scandal.

There was an uproar in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after lawmakers demanded the resignation of Raja after a leading newspaper claimed proof against him over his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scandal.

They demanded that Raja should step down from his ministerial position with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, there are reports that in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is hoping to take full advantage of the issue.

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa has accused the Centre of double standards for forcing Shashi Tharoor to quit over the Indian Premier League (IPL) scandal, but keeping Raja despite the allegations of corruption against him.

"When charges were raised by Lalit Modi about Shashi Tharoor's dubious involvement in IPL deals, the junior minister was sacrificed. But when it comes to allies, the UPA is forced to submit to blackmail. The issue is not just one of probity in public life," said ayalalithaa.

"It is about the loot of Rs 1 lakh crore of funds due to the nation. It is the sort of money that could have provided independent houses free of cost to every family in Tamil Nadu," she added.

Raja had in October last year said he wouldn't step down from his position in the wake of charges that his spectrum allocation policies have caused a revenue loss of 60,000 crore rupees.

"I will not step down. Ours is a government that has followed all rules to the latter and spirit by following the recommendations of TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)," he said.

Raja also alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government was involved in the "biggest ever scam", as it distributed free spectrum to operators depriving the exchequer of over 1,60,000 rupees crore revenue.

Raja added that the NDA government not only distributed free spectrum, it also violated all norms by giving the frequency far in excess of 4.4 MHz to many leading operators.(ANI)

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