Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Sunday alleged elaborate attempts at a cover-up in 2G scam and demanded “serious investigation” to ascertain the role of the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in spectrum allocations.
Currently on a Jan Chetna Yatra against corruption, Mr. Advani also questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s integrity and leadership alleging that his government had “no capacity left to respond to” multi-crore scams that took place “under his nose and, from all accounts in his knowledge“.
His comments came in the wake of a Delhi court framing charges on Saturday against all the 17 accused in the 2G scam including former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and corporate honchos.
“While the framing of charges of fraud against a former Minister, several officials, an MP and functionaries of companies that allegedly benefitted from the scam is welcome, I believe the probe has left some important facets out of its ambit,” Mr. Advani said in a statement here.
“Despite elaborate attempts at a cover-up, the role of former Finance Minister and incumbent Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, clearly merits serious investigation,” he said.
The BJP leader said what prompted the Finance Ministry to change its stated position on auctioning scarce spectrum “remains an abiding mystery.”
“Why did Chidambaram concur with A Raja’s decision to allot spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices, days after giving an opinion to the contrary?,” he asked.
“I demand that the Supreme Court-directed investigation into the 2G Spectrum scam must be extended to probing his role and that of officials of the Finance Ministry of the time,” Mr. Advani said.
Accusing the UPA of failing to adopt a consistent policy on corruption, Mr. Advani said, “The Manmohan Singh regime has been so weakened by the succession of gigantic corruption scandals that it has no capacity left to respond to challenges.”
“Just yesterday, the Delhi High Court has admitted the final charge sheet presented by the CBI against 17 persons in the massive 2G Spectrum scam. The prosecution has filed the charges under sections of the law that entail life imprisonment for the accused if they are found guilty of criminal conspiracy to loot the country’s resources,” he said.
“The Prime Minister prides himself on his personal integrity. However, the fact that the loot happened under his nose and, from all accounts with his knowledge, puts a serious question mark on his leadership,” the BJP leader said.
“The suspicion that the money trail did not end with the charge-sheeted persons is growing stronger every day, especially after it was revealed through an RTI application that Pranab Mukherjee, senior-most member of the Cabinet had also opposed this transaction,” he said.
Mr. Advani reiterated that his Yatra is for the restoration of a value system in governance “that we seem to be losing.”
“The cancer of corruption is destroying the soul of our great civilisation,” he said and pointed out that the siphoning off of public funds is at the root of runaway inflation.
Mr. Advani also said incredible amounts of black money have been taken out of our country and stashed away in Swiss banks and other tax havens abroad.
“I raised this issue way back in 2009 but the UPA regime has shown no interest in pursuing this criminal diversion of funds,” he said.