Two petitions on 2G spectrum controversy will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Monday even as the Opposition stepped up pressure demanding the removal of Union Telecom Minister A. Raja.
(A Bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly is hearing a writ petition filed by the “Centre for PIL” seeking action on the basis of the draft audit report submitted by CAG and a special leave petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy for a direction to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to decide on his application seeking sanction for prosecution of Mr. Raja.)
During the last hearing on October 29, the Supreme Court had slammed the CBI for its “slipshod” investigations into the 2G spectrum allocation issue and even wondered how Mr. Raja was continuing in office.
The Telecom Ministry has claimed that new licences and 2G spectrum were distributed as per the existing policy which were followed by all the predecessors of Mr. Raja.
On Sunday morning, top Congress leaders met in Delhi and discussed the issue anticipating uproar in Parliament by the Opposition which wants Mr. Raja sacked.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party president Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders Pranab Mukherjee and Ahmad Patel, political secretary to the Congress chief, attended the meeting.
On his part, Mr. Mukherjee refused to comment on the spectrum controversy, saying whatever has to be said will be stated in Parliament.
“Parliament is in session. Whatever needs to be said on Telecom Minister A. Raja, will be said in Parliament,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.
Mr. Raja, who has struck a defiant note asserting there was no question of his resigning from the government, met DMK chief M. Karunanidhi in Chennai for the second time in 24 hours.
He met Mr. Karunanidhi at the latter’s residence.
Mr. Karunanidhi’s daughter Ms. Kanimozhi dismissed speculation that she may replace Mr. Raja. “You are talking to a Member of Parliament who will continue to be an MP,” she said on being asked about her replacing Mr. Raja.
Ms. Kanimozhi also saw no strain between the Congress and the DMK on the issue.
“As far as I know, the alliance between the Congress and the DMK is very strong and very good. People who have to worry about the alliance is the Left parties which are in alliance with the AIADMK in the State“.
The Opposition parties, including the BJP and the Left parties, made it clear that they will not allow Parliament to function till Mr. Raja is removed.
They are also planning to corner the Prime Minister after Mr. Raja’s comments that he had kept the PMO in the loop at every stage during the spectrum allocation.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged that the affidavit submitted by the government in Supreme Court on the 2G spectrum allotment “is testimony of the abject and complete surrender of the Congress before its partner DMK for mere survival in office“.
JD (U)’s Shivanand Tiwari said Mr. Raja’s resignation has become secondary and an explanation from the Prime Minister has become “primary” following the affidavit.
CPI leader D. Raja said that since the Prime Minister is the head of the government, it was for him to explain the matter.
Keywords: 2G Spectrum scam