Oppn says Raja''s arrest too little too late, Cong defends PM

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Opposition today termed formerTelecom minister A Raja''s arrest as "too little too late" andsaid it has strengthened the demand for a JPC probe into the2G spectrum scam even as the Congress asserted that thedevelopment had not dented credibility of the Prime Minister.

Describing Raja''s arrest as "belated", senior BJPleader Arun Jaitley said, "I wish the Prime Minister, insteadof living in denial, had acted three years ago so that thishuge, monumental loss to the public exchequer had not takenplace".

Maintaining that the arrest had vindicated its demandfor a JPC probe, he said the spectrum was allocated at "agrossly under-stated value" and the selection of companies was"an act of favouritism .... as to whom it is to be allottedin 2007, early 2008. More than three years have elapsed andfor over three years this government was in denial".

BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the arrest was"too little too late. It is very unfair to say that Raja alonehad gulped Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Who are the rest of the people?BJP categorically wants to know".

Launching a blistering attack on the government, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the arrest proved, "there is avery deep malaise behind this whole scam that needs to beinvestigated not only from the point of view of punishing theguilty but also to plug the loopholes in the system which wasmanipulated in such a big way to facilitate such a massivefraud".

Once constituted, the JPC would have to work "with ahistorical frame in mind as to how the telecom policy wasmanipulated over all these years, how it was arbitrarilychanged depending on who is getting the shares of profit. Allthese have to be comprehensively probed", he said.

Maintaining that the development confirmed the needfor JPC, CPI National Secretary D Raja said, "The arrest wasexpected. This is just the beginning. The arrest can trigger aseries of questions on the role of the PMO and previousTelecom ministers".

However, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvidismissed suggestions that Raja''s arrest has affected thecredibility of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and hisgovernment, saying unlike other Opposition governments, theUPA has allowed the law to take its course.

Both Yechury and Raja lambasted Telecom Minister KapilSibal, saying his "defence" of the irregularities in theallocation of spectrum was "entirely repudiated" with thearrest.

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