AIADMK chief urges Manmohan to come clean

AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa has called for immediate annulment of the spectrum deal between ISRO's commercial arm Antrix and the Bangalore-based private player Devas Multimedia, recovery of the spectrum and a thorough inquiry into the frittering away of precious national resources.

In a statement, she said it was a national shame that scams running to lakhs of crores of rupees were tumbling out of the UPA government's closet and wondered how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could remain a silent accomplice to such gross misdemeanours.

Describing as shocking media reports of a Rs. 2-lakh crore loss to the exchequer in the allocation of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to the private company, Ms. Jayalalithaa urged Dr. Singh to break his silence and come clean, failing which people would lose faith in the Union government and the nation would be reduced to a laughing stock before the world.

“Shocking”

She alleged that the allocation of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas for a period of 20 years at a throw-away price of Rs. 1,000 crore was made without following a competitive bidding process and in total violation of the guidelines for such sale. Although the Department of Space, which came directly under the control of the Prime Minister, had raised objections and recommended the scrapping of the contract, that had not happened.

Ms. Jayalalithaa pointed out that the government's auctioning of 15 MHz of airwaves for Rs. 67,719 crore last year formed the basis of estimating the loss to the nation from ISRO's spectrum deal to be Rs. 2 lakh crore.