A former CAG official’s statement questioning the 2G spectrum loss estimates triggered a full blown political war on Friday, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi stating the BJP, which went to town with a Rs. 1.76-lakh-crore figure, stood exposed now.
Asked if the BJP had been “exposed” by former CAG official RP Singh, she said, “Yes, certainly I think so.”
In a fresh twist, Singh, former director general, posts and telecommunications in CAG, claimed his superiors had made him sign a report he had not prepared. He also questioned the presumptive loss figure. “After completing the audit of the telecom ministry, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report ... without any loss figure.”
His statement came as a breather for the Congress that has been battling on multiple fronts, including the washout of the first two days of Parliament’s winter session and allegations of inaction against corruption.
On Singh’s claims that CAG officials had met him at his residence on a gazetted holiday to help him prepare the public accounts committee’s report on 2G allocation, PAC chairman MM Joshi of the BJP said, “The CAG is a friend, philosopher and guide to the PAC. The two coordinate regularly. What is wrong in that?”
Joshi said, "I never influenced anybody on the outcome of the 2G report. If RP Singh has signed the report, he should own it… I wonder why he is speaking today."
He said the PAC "simply requested" the CAG to expedite the report as it was getting delayed. Joshi also accused the government of "destroying" institutions that were highlighting corruption.
But information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said Joshi, like the CAG, should clear the air on the issue. He also wondered who was responsible for increasing the presumptive loss figures.
While DMK and Samajwadi party demanded a discussion on the issue in Parliament, the Left asked Joshi to explain his role. BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said his party would keep an eye on whether Singh "gets some post" from the government.