The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday sought to counter the charge of the former Union Communications Minister, Arun Shourie, that the party had not bothered to follow up on the 2G spectrum scam though he had brought it to the notice of the party leaders.
Without making reference to Mr. Shourie's allegation, the party forwarded a brief note of points made by Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha), while intervening in a debate on the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on July 23.
In an interview to a television channel last week, Mr. Shourie said the BJP was not interested in following up on the scam and only the AIADMK members were pursuing it.
“The BJP knows what I knew…I don't want to talk about BJP's internal meeting but it is certainly my assessment that they were not interested in following up on these things,” he told the channel.
“We've been raising it”
In an informal interaction with journalists, a spokesperson of the BJP refused to be drawn into the remarks made by Mr. Shourie but said, “We have been raising the subject right from day one.”
Answering a question in his interview, Mr. Shourie had said, “I'm not going to make it a BJP vs Arun Shourie business. But it is evident. And many of these people have had these very chaps as their clients, both on Kapil Sibal's side and other sides.”
In his Rajya Sabha speech, Mr. Jaitley had said that the methodology of spectrum allocation to private players raised serious doubts with regard to the honesty and fairness of the process.
The BJP leader had said that three out of the nine awardees of the licences immediately utilised the 74 per cent FDI policy of the government and found buyers/collaborators from the international market.
“The difference in the valuation awarded by the government to the private players and the value realised by the private players in each case has been minimum Rs.6,000 crore to Rs.7,000 crore. The nine licences collectively, along with spectrum, were thus allotted at an under-valuation, which exceeds Rs.60,000 crore.”