NEW DELHI: Top Congress leaders have said today’s verdict in the 2G case has vindicated the party’s stand that there was no scam in the allotment of second generation or 2G licences during former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led UPA government at the centre.
“I don’t want to boast anything… I am glad court has announced unambiguously that all this massive propaganda that was being done against the UPA was without any foundation,” former PM Manmohan Singh said after the verdict.
“One thing is clear the allegation of a major scam involving highest levels of govt was never true, not correct and that’s been proved today,” said former union minister P Chidambaram.
His colleague Kapil Sibal said, “Unfortunate the country had to go through this. Many NPAs in banks have accumulated due to this as telecom licences were cancelled. It hit the banking and telecom sectors, it hit the economy. All because of BJP and (former national auditor or CAG) Vinod Rai.”
The trial court today acquitted former Telecom Minister A Raja and 16 others saying there was no evidence to prove that airwaves and licenses were allocated to cellphone networks in exchange for kickbacks, causing the state a loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. The allegations emerged in 2010 when the national auditor or CAG said that in 2007-2008, 2G licences had been given to telecom operators at throwaway prices without a free and fair bidding process.
The Supreme Court earlier cancelled all the licenses Mr Raja, who is a member of Congress ally the DMK, had issued. Mr Raja spent a year in jail in the case.
Mr Sibal, who succeeded A Raja as telecom minister, recalled that he had said after taking over that “nothing wrong was done.”
“Our zero loss theory on 2G spectrum allocation has been vindicated,” the Congress leader said.
The 2G allegations provided fuel to the opposition charges of corruption against the Manmohan Singh government and has been a major stick used by the BJP to beat the Congress.