Scams on backdrop, CPI(M) questions PM's probity

New Delhi, Mar 6: Stepping up its attack on the UPA government on the issue of corruption, the CPI(M) on Sunday, Mar 6 said that the manner in which it handled the 2G spectrum scam and the appointment of CVC raised questions on the role of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Maintaining that setting up of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the spectrum scam was "not enough", party General Secretary Prakash Karat said, "We would like the government to take further action to recover the revenue lost in 2G scam".

"It is not enough to arrest a few persons. The government should cancel these licences and auction the spectrum so that the lost revenue can be recovered", he said, adding that the investigative agencies should take action against those companies which illegally got 2G licences.

The way the UPA government "has handled the 2G spectrum affair and the manner in which the CVC was appointed, have all raised questions about the role of the Prime Minister in this affair and the cover-up that was attempted", he said.

Observing that the Supreme Court has "indicted" the government for appointing PJ Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner and set aside the appointment, he said it was not just the Palmolein case against Thomas, he was also the Telecom Secretary under former Minister A Raja, now in prison.

"The Prime Minister was directly involved in the selection process. He has yet to explain how the former telecom secretary under A Raja and who had a case pending against him earlier was made the CVC", Karat said.

When pointed out that Thomas was also the Kerala Chief Secretary, he said a distinction should be made between the posts of Chief Secretary and even Telecom Secretary on one hand and CVC on the other.

"The CVC is a constitutional post which requires an unimpeachable character and integrity", he said.

Karat said the CPI(M) also wants an independent enquiry into the Antrix-Devas contract on S-band spectrum, which has now been annulled.


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