No question mark on Chidambaram: Khurshid on 2G controversy

Salman Khurshid
New Delhi, Sep 22: Amid the controversy generated by a Finance Ministry note suggesting that then Finance Minister P Chidambaram could have insisted on auctioning 2G spectrum, Law Minister Salman Khurshid today (Sept 22) said there could be "no question mark" on the senior minister and he deserves the support of the government.

"I have now seen the paper and I want to make it very clear that as far as we are concerned in the government, there is no question mark whatsoever...nothing of questionable nature on the conduct of (then Finance Minister) P Chidambaram ...I can say this with full authority. He deserves the support of the government," Khurshid said here.

Asked to comment on the note produced in the Supreme Court yesterday, he told reporters that it was "difficult to comment on the paper for the single reason that it comes from a junior official in the Ministry. It is not that paper has been seen either by a senior functionary or a minister."

The Minister said questions on the note can be entertained by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who is abroad. "Let's wait for the person on the hot seat to be able to tell you what is the value and authenticity of the note".

The March 25, 2011 document on allocation and pricing of 2G spectrum broadly suggests that Chidambaram could have insisted that the valuable resource could have been auctioned at the time the spectrum was sold on a first come, first served basis by former Telecom Minister A Raja, now lodged in Tihar jail.

The note was written by PGS Rao, Deputy Director in the Finance Ministry, to Vini Mahajan, Joint Secretary in the PMO. The covering letter to the note also said that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had seen the note.


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