In the midst of news reports alleging that spectrum was allotted by ISRO's commercial arm Antrix to a private company Devas Multimedia without auction and at throwaway prices, the BJP on Tuesday trained its guns on the Prime Minister.
"The Prime Minister presides over a regime of daily scams. Lakhs of crores of rupees are being lost," said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad. "Yet he is, or claims to be, Mr Clean. The regime headed by him is one of the most corrupt since independence."
About the alleged allocation of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas, Prasad said, "This national resource was given to a private company for a meagre R1000 crore without auction or determination of reasonable price…"
On the PMO's statement denying any loss to the exchequer, Prasad said: "It does not deny that there was an agreement. The question here is not whether there was a loss."
He posed some questions to the PM: As ISRO comes under the PM, was approval granted for the allocation, did the PM-headed department of space insist on public auction of the spectrum, did the PM require ISRO to reasonably determine its market price, why were 5 years taken to "terminate" the agreement and done only in July 2010, and at whose approval was the former scientific secretary allowed to do business with ISRO?
Demanding the PM's response, Prasad said, "There is no Raja or Kalmadi here. Did you approve the deal or not."
He also took a dig at Sonia Gandhi: "Sonia Gandhi is chairperson of NAC and UPA and also Congress president. How long will she keep quiet. Say something. Do you hold any accountability or not? ...."