Buoyed by the 2G spectrum case verdict, the Congress today said that truth has finally prevailed and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley apologise to the nation for the BJP’s alleged “propaganda and lies” on the issue. The Congress also said that accountability should be fixed against those including former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai who dubbed it a scam, after all the accused were acquitted in the case today by a special court as the prosecution failed to establish any charges.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, whose UPA-II government was rocked by the 2G scam, said the court judgement needs to be respected as it has “pronounced that the massive propaganda” unleashed against his government was without any foundation.
“We respect the court’s judgement. I do not want to boast (about) anything. I think the court’s judgement has to be respected. “I am glad that the court has pronounced unambiguously that all this massive propaganda which was being done against the UPA was without any foundation,” Singh said. Asked about allegations that lies were spread against his government, he said, “Well, the judgement speaks for itself.” Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, “One thing is clear… the allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of government was never true and not correct and that has been established today.” Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of spreading lies and propaganda for years to come to power and said “today is the day for fixing accountability and responsibility”.
“Will all those people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders, who for years made false propaganda and lies their stepping stone to come to power, apologise to the country,” he told reporters. Surjewala said the BJP “stands exposed today before the country” and alleged that “speaking lies, hatching conspiracies is the real DNA and nature of the BJP”. “Will all such conspirators, whose ‘sardars’ (leaders) including prime minister Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and their “pichhlagu and pitthu” (stooge) Vinod Rai, should their accountability not be fixed,” he asked.
Alleging that the BJP stands exposed for conspiring against the Congress, Surjewala said Modi, Jaitley and the BJP should publicly apologise to the 125 crore people of the country. “Today the entire country, after what this Supreme-Court monitored CBI court said, asks why accountability of those who dubbed 2G spectrum a scam be not fixed. Today is the day for demanding accountability and responsibility,” he said. Former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said, “After the 2G judgement by the Special Court. Zero gain for BJP. My position is vindicated.”
He said, “today my words have been proved right. There was no corruption, there was no loss. If there was any scam, it was a scam of lies, the opposition’s and Vinod Rai’s lies. Vinod Rai must apologise.” The CAG had estimated a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer in 2008 2G spectrum allocation. In his comments following the CAG report, Sibal had claimed “zero loss” to the government. Sibal today claimed a lot of NPAs are on account of the telecom companies whose licences were cancelled. “They had to borrow money from banks and could not return and that is how many of the NPAs were accumulated,” he said.
He said the telecom sector is “in dire straits, thanks to Vinod Rai and thanks to the (then) opposition and its leaders”. “If you create an atmosphere of suspicion and that everything the UPA did was wrong and the opposition gets on to the bandwagon the entire atmosphere is vitiated…then you have positions like this,” he said. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said “the truth has been revealed by the special CBI court”. “The truth ultimately has prevailed. It has been proved now that the BJP speaks lies and propaganda to win elections,” he alleged.
Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said the 2G verdict will remain a “black mark” in the history of CAG and ex-CAG Rai should be prosecuted. “You know the CAG chief is today one of the strong advisors of the government, posted on various boards and organisations, and is being rewarded for what he has done. That will remain a black mark in the history of CAG,” Vadakkan said. “He (Rai) should be prosecuted by the law of the land for creating such kind of excuses and cover-ups. I think he should be prosecuted,” the Congress spokesperson said.
“In this Parliament session, they have a lot of questions to answer. How can you do this to any political party? People are watching this very closely. This is going to echo across the country,” Vadakkan said.
Former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi were today acquitted by a special court in the 2G spectrum scam case. Fifteen other accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted.