“Attempt to divert people's attention”

AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Thursday rejected Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's arguments that it was unjustifiable to deliver a final verdict on 2G spectrum allocation based on “presumptive loss”, saying that the “loss was real and only the quantum was presumptive.”

“The Chief Minister must understand that the loss is not presumptive. The loss presumed to be Rs 1.76 lakh crore could be Rs 1.50 lakh crore or Rs 2 lakh crore. But certainly there is a loss,” she said in a statement here.

Ms.Jayalalithaa pointed out that while the revenue generated through 3 G spectrum was over Rs 1 lakh crore, the 2 G spectrum had brought just Rs 10,000 crore.

“I want to make it clear that the multi-crore loss caused to the government is not presumptive,” she further said.

Reacting to Mr. Karunanidhi's poser to her whether she had come forward to resign from the post of Chief Minister in the wake of CAG reports indicting the AIADMK government, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Chief Minister's argument had betrayed his ignorance.

“It is routine for the CAG to point out the shortcomings of both the Central and state governments. The charges are general in nature and no Chief Minister will resign for facing such charges. The DMK government also came under criticism for causing loss to the tune of Rs. 148 crore to the exchequer for leasing out government land to DLF. Did Mr Karunanidhi step down,” she asked.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said as far as 2G spectrum allocation was concerned, the CAG had severely reprimanded Mr. Raja, who had quit his minister post, and raised a series of questions, including why there was a deviation in the first-come-first-served system. “All the charges are against Mr. Raja, who was holding the portfolio, and not against the government. That is why the Opposition parties are demanding a probe by a JPC. But without understanding the whole issue, the Chief Minister is trying to divert the attention of the people,” she alleged.