On the heels of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) issuing a statement describing reports about losses in the S-band spectrum allocation as being “without basis,” and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally clear the air on the issue as the Department of Space comes under the PMO, the Congress came to the government's defence on Wednesday, saying the charges of a mega scam in this were “completely bizarre.”
“This entire thesis of pegging the loss using 3G auction as a benchmark for valuing spectrum and calling it a scam is completely bizarre....and should be debunked,” party spokesperson Manish Tewari told journalists.
“Apples are being compared to pears,” he said, adding that if 3G prices had been applied for 2G licences, a telephone call would have jumped to Rs. 50.
The Congress also came to the defence of Union Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, after a Supreme Court judge questioned his continuance in the Union Cabinet.
Stressing that the appropriate functioning of all institutions was essential for a healthy democratic polity, Mr. Tewari said: “Within the Constitutional scheme, there is a time-tested concept called the doctrine of separation of powers…While we respect the judiciary and have the utmost reverence for their judgments, I think each institution must respect this doctrine.”