Demanding the resignation of Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal for claiming that there was no loss to the public exchequer, senior CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu said, "The Prime Minister, who is known as a paragon of virtue, will have to take a call on the fallout of the judgement which has called the bluff on the government's claims on the 2G scam."
The verdict "absolutely puts the government under cloud. The Opposition and CPI(M)'s charges have been upheld by the Supreme Court and earlier by the CAG, even though the Prime Minister's constant refrain has been that there has been absolute transparency. The court has totally rejected this."
In a statement, the party's Politburo said the order was a "strong indictment of the UPA government and, in particular, the present Telecom Minister who has constantly refused to cancel the licences and held that there has been no revenue loss. Kapil Sibal should resign forthwith.
"In the light of the judgement, the Prime Minister is duty bound to break his silence and answer to the country. The CPI (M) demands that the government immediately implement the judgement."
Terming the verdict as "historic", CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat said it was a "strong indictment" of the government and of those "who had argued that illegal and unconstitutional steps taken by the government be defended in the name of increasing investments by corporates and multinationals in India".
Expressing hope that the government "immediately acts" on the order, Karat said the apex court has "questioned the government's economic approach (which has led) these corporates to loot the country".She also demanded that the entire amount "lost" in the scam should be recovered by the government.
Basu said, "Sibal must resign as the Telecom Minister" as he had claimed that there was no loss to the public exchequer even though the apex court, by ordering cancellation of the licences, has indicated that there was a loss.
The CPI(M) leader said then Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, also has "a major moral responsibility" on allocation of spectrum on a first-come, first-served basis which "caused a huge loss to the exchequer".
Maintaining that the Supreme Court order has "unambiguously pronounced" that there was a scandal, he said it has also ordered that "the money be recovered through an auction within four months".