Raja''s arrest vindicates demand for JPC : BJP

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Describing former Telecomminister A Raja''s arrest as "belated", BJP today asked PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh why he had been silent on this issuefor so long and maintained this development had vindicated itsdemand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"The allocation of spectrum at a grossly under statedvalue and seletion of persons as an act of favouritism to whomit is to be alloted took place in 2007, early 2008. More thanthree years have elapsed and for over three years thisgovernment was in denial," Leader of the Opposition in RajyaSabha Arun Jaitley said.

He maintained that the government kept defending Rajadespite the opposition, media pressure and repeated debates inParliament.

"The Prime Minister maintained even late last yearthat Raja did nothing wrong, he did what his predecessor did.

(Kapil) Sibal maintained a fortnight ago that Raja had causedno loss to the exchequer," Jaitley said.

Alleging that the government was involved in this"cover-up exercise", BJP insisted that Raja''s arrest was a"belated action" which had come under pressure from thejudicial system, Parliament, the public and media.

"I wish the Prime Minister, instead of living indenial, had acted three years ago so that this huge,monumental loss to the public exchequer had not taken place,"Jaitley said.

However, BJP maintained that its stand on JPC wouldnot be diluted.

"Our stand on JPC remains because it is on much largerissues. Why was the Telecom portfolio kept only for DMK? Whywithin DMK it was kept only for A Raja? How and why somepolicies were framed? And the role of middlemen," Jaitleysaid.

He claimed that these issues did not relate directlyto the "culpability" of A Raja and so a JPC was needed to lookinto the larger issues.

Dubbing Raja''s arrest as "too little too late", partyspokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy demanded that others involvedin the 2G spectrum scam should also be brought to book.

"The arrest is too little too late. It is very unfairto say that Raja alone had gulped Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Who arethe rest of the people? BJP categorically wants to know that,"Rudy said, adding that the arrest was just the beginning of anexercise.

"Please don''t give credit to the government for thearrest. Government has to answer many questions before thisfinally comes to an end," he said.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman maintained thatthough a "loot" of Rs 1.76 Lakh crore had taken place in 2Gspectrum allocation, the Prime Minister had remained silent.

"Our demand for a JPC probe has been vindicated," shesaid and held the Congress responsible for the "completewashout" of the Winter session of Parliament.

"The sheer arrogance and adamance of the Congressparty is responsible for the wasting of the winter session,"she said.

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