'India has become laughing stock over 2G', says Yashwant Sinha

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 12:28 hrs

New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday denounced the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report on the 2G spectrum scam, saying it has made the country and its people a laughing stock.

"Our Prime Minister has commented about A. Raja in the same way and when the order of the Supreme Court was declared he felt that Raja might be guilty and therefore there must be investigation. We have become a laughing stock," he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla hit back at Yashwant Sinha for cornering the government on the 2G issue, and said that the people had rejected the BJP in the 2009 elections.

"People have selected this Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh). There was a mandate in 2009 wherein the so called iron man had been projected by Yashwant Sinha and that iron man was rejected by the people of this country," said Shukla

"Now merely Yashwant Sinha's observation cannot be a true expresser of the voice of the people," he added.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said the ruling Congress Party and the BJP should stop shifting the blame on each other and learn to face the truth.

"The JPC report if it at all makes some references to role of some government, it blames some previous government. What about the present government headed by Manmohan Singh? So these off truths create problems," said Raja.

"BJP doesn't buy that off truth, it wants to fix the UPA 2, the UPA 2 wants to fix the NDA. They are not facing the truth as it is," he added.

JPC chairman P.C. Chacko today said he was ready to take their amendments in the form of dissent notes, but would not change the text of the documents.

"I am willing for a detailed discussion on each of the (10) chapters. The text cannot be changed. The opposition's amendments can be in the form of dissent notes...let the two (draft and the dissent notes) be presented so that Parliament is aware of the two views," he told mediapersons outside the Parliament here.

Amid demands by the opposition for the outright rejection of the draft report on 2G, Chacko had earlier expressed his willingness to consider amendments to controversial aspects of the draft report, which has given a clean chit to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja had earlier last week lashed out at the JPC for not allowing him to depose before it, saying this is not the way the panel examining the 2G spectrum allocation is expected to function.

"This is not the way the JPC is expected to function. Even without waiting for my statement the JPC prepared a draft report and also leaked it to the media," said Raja. "I always had concerns about the credibility of JPC," he added.

Raja, who has been accused of indulging in a scam worth Rs. 1.76 lakh crore when in office, has so far reiterated that he did everything in consultation with the Prime Minister, and said that he will prove his innocence in the 2G spectrum scam case.

Raja has repeatedly said that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were in the loop over policy decisions related to 2G spectrum allocation.

According to media reports, a leaked draft report of the committee says Raja had tweaked the rules to award mobile permits to a few chosen companies, and that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were not informed about the changes.

The draft report has given a clean chit to the Prime Minister on the 2G spectrum allocation, saying he was misled by the then Telecom Minister.

The report blames Raja for tweaking norms in favour of a few companies. It rubbishes the loss figure of 1.76 lakh crore rupees estimated by the CAG.

The 2G scam had damaged the reputation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government and also tarnished the image of the country's telecom sector.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet after the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. 

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