Govt. has made itself a 'laughing stock', says Jayalalithaa on Raja's arrest

Chennai, Feb 3 (ANI): All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa on Thursday expressed her dissatisfaction over the arrest of former Telecom Minister A Raja in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, saying the arrest has made the government 'a laughing stock'.

Jayalalithaa also criticized Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal over his statement that there were no losses caused by the 2G allocation process followed by Raja during his tenure.

"First, the government's auditor declared Raja guilty of costing the country upto 1.76 lakh crores through his deliberate mishandling of the allocation of spectrum for mobile networks. Despite this, new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said that 2G licenses had caused no losses to the government," she said.

On Wednesday, Jayalalithaa said the arrest of A Raja in the 2G-spectrum scam raised more questions than answers, and alleged that it was a 'purely political' decision, keeping in mind the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.

She also demanded the arrest of others, including immediate family members of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, allegedly involved in the scam, and said that her party would not give up its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe despite Raja's arrest.

The CBI arrested Raja along with his personal secretary RK Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura on Wednesday in connection with the 2G scam.

The investigating agency questioned Raja for the fourth time on Wednesday. He was questioned earlier on December 24 and 25 last year and on January 31.

The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G scam to it by February 10, when the case will come up for hearing.

Earlier this week, a report by a one-man commission, Justice Shivraj Patil, was handed over to new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. Justice Patil was asked in December to look into whether officials in the Telecom Ministry had, since 1991, violated government procedures and guidelines for allocating spectrum.

The CBI in its first information report had mentioned the loss as Rs.22, 000 crore based on the findings of Central Vigilance Commission, which had referred the case to it.

Raja was forced to resign from Union Cabinet last year after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)

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