Accusing the Prime Minister of shielding Telecom Minister A. Raja — charged with irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation — the BJP on Tuesday demanded that Raja’s portfolio be changed pending full enquiry so that probe impartiality is ensured.
PM Manmohan Singh had said on Monday: “I have discussed this issue with Raja... he has told me that what he did was to implement the policies which were in place since 2003... If I come to know that there is any involvement at any level in corruption, we will take action.”
The BJP feels Singh is defending Raja. “We understand that removing Raja is not in the power of the PM. We are aware of his limitations so far as political authority is concerned,” said BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad. “But we’ll request him to change the department of Raja so that an impartial enquiry can take place.”
According to sources, the government does not want to annoy Raja’s party, the DMK, by asking him to quit.
On the PM’s statement that the TRAI and Telecom Commission had approved the policy on 2G allocation, he said: “The biggest fraud being claimed by Raja is that the TRAI had recommended this. I’m a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communications and IT… I don’t want to say anything more.”
The BJP has been claiming that the 2G allocation led to a huge loss of revenue. After the amount of revenues earned by the 3G spectrum, it sharpened its attack on Raja over the much smaller sum fetched by the 2G allocation.