2G scam: Jaitley takes on Sibal, asks why A Raja quit as Telecom Minister

Guwahati/New Delhi, Jan 7 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Friday rubbishing the claims of Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal in the 2G spectrum scam, asked why was A Raja forced to quit as Telecom Minister if the loss to the exchequer estimated at Rs.1.76 lakh crore was not true.

"If the entire argument is that there was no loss to the exchequer then why did Raja resign from the Government? Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's entire argument is fallacious. He is just playing with statistics, confusing the position. He is playing the PAC+JPC+CBI all rolled into one and contending that there is no loss as far as revenue is concerned," said Jaitley.

Jaitley further said Kapil Sibal has 'missed the basic point' with regard to the scam.

"When spectrum was allotted in 2008, why was it done at 2001 prices?" he asked.

Earlier today, Sibal challenged the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)'s report on the 2G spectrum scam, saying the figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore is utterly erroneous.

"Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore is utterly erroneous. The losses were much lower and that over Rs. 100 crore had been recovered after the government sent out notices," he told reporters at a press conference here.

Kapil Sibal, however, said he respected the CAG, but was extremely pained at the methodology adopted by CAG for arriving at 2G spectrum (loss) figures that have no basis.

The Minister said he agreed with the CAG on two counts - one, that there was something wrong with the rollout of the telecom policy and two, that there was criminal culpability and which is why the CBI, under the Supreme Court, was investigating the matter.

Further slamming the Opposition for disrupting the Parliamentary proceedings during the entire session of Parliament, Sibal said: The Opposition won't speak to us and so we are speaking to people directly through the media."

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with other opposition parties had stalled the entire winter session of the Parliament, demanding for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into the scam.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in a report held former Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology A. Raja responsible for causing losses estimated at a whopping rupees 1.76 trillion to the exchequer in 2G telecom spectrum allotments to favoured operators without any auction bids. (ANI)

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