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Updated: November 20, 2010 01:12 IST

Congress rallies behind Manmohan

Smita Gupta
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While the new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the Congress denounced those attacking Dr. Singh as being “scared of the stature of the PM and the strength of the party.”
While the new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the Congress denounced those attacking Dr. Singh as being “scared of the stature of the PM and the strength of the party.”

Swamy looking for political space, not justice: Sibal

More than 72 hours after the Supreme Court made its observations about the Prime Minister delaying prosecution of the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, and a day after television channels tried to implicate Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum case, Congress and government managers — and the Gandhi family — finally got their act together.

Even as the government fielded the new Telecom Minister, Kapil Sibal, to defend the Prime Minister, which he did vigorously, Congress Media Chairperson Janardan Dwivedi denounced those attacking Dr. Singh as being “scared of the stature of the PM and the strength of the Congress.”

Simultaneously, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, too, defended him. “I don't think the Prime Minister is in an embarrassing position. He has done nothing wrong,” Mr. Gandhi said in response to a question.

One explanation for the delay in publicly and vigorously shielding the Prime Minister from the barrage of criticism came from Congress sources: they said the party and the government had miscalculated in thinking that the opposition would dry up by November 18, when the campaign for the Bihar elections ended.

Another senior party leader faulted the decision to sack Mr. Raja so soon — before the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor-General's Report had been deliberated upon by the Public Accounts Committee and a full-fledged discussion in Parliament on the action suggested by the PAC. His view was that dropping the Minister had not appeased the Opposition as it continued to demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee: on the other hand, this action had succeeded in removing a buffer, placing the Prime Minister in the direct line of Opposition fire.

There was also a private admission on Friday that there had been mismanagement and “bungling” in dealing with the entire 2G spectrum issue, which rendered Dr. Singh open to attack.

Mr. Sibal, imploring journalists not to “pillory” the Prime Minister, whose integrity was never in doubt, stressed that Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy had written to the Prime Minister about Mr. Raja, motivated not by a desire to see justice done but to gain “political mileage.”

“Dr. Swamy is looking for political space, not justice,” Mr Sibal said.

The Prime Minister would have been justified, the Minister said, had he thrown his letters into the wastepaper basket, as it was legally untenable to sanction prosecution on the basis of a private complaint — there was a laid down legal procedure for investigation and prosecution, he said, one which Dr. Swamy could have adopted had he been serious.

“But, being a sensitive man, the Prime Minister responded to these letters,” Mr. Sibal said, adding that as each fresh letter from Dr. Swamy brought a fresh bunch of accusatory news reports against Mr. Raja, the matter had to be looked at afresh each time. He also pointed out that a CBI investigation was on.

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Being a citizen of India I am using my right to make comments on our P.M. Mr Prime Minister you have gained name and fame internationally, people are criticizing you just for the sake of criticism, they have got nothing to do with this. This is my request to you please maintain the same image that you have earned so far.Your country is expecting a lot from you. Your countrymen have become very intelligent they know what is wright what is wrong and who is right who is wrong.

Posted on: Nov 22, 2010 at 15:04 IST

When a government employee caught with just Rs.50 and immediately arrested to present him before the court, how these politicians left just like that. Soon after they find that there is a prima-facie case, the wrongdoer should immediately be booked and further action can be taken as per law.

from:  janardhanarao
Posted on: Nov 22, 2010 at 11:05 IST

As far as I am concerned the matter is pretty simple. The matter has been taken up by the Supreme Court and the questions are being raised by them. Isnt that proof that there is merit to Swamy's case or is the answers of Mr. Sibal trying to suggest that the Supreme Court of India is just wasting time as it has nothing better to do. Another aspect of this whole issue is about, who gave Raja authority to respond to Swamy? Swamy writes to the PM asking sanction to prosecute Raja and somewhere down the line Raja writes to Swamy trying to explain what happened. Is that how things work? I can understand during the course of an investigation (if there was one) that Raja was made aware that there were some complaints against the manner in which he had functioned but who gave him permission to reply to Swamy. Is that a crucial and important part of this whole mess or is it not? As for Mr. Sibal's suggestion that the PM's office would have been justified in throwing the letters to the dust bin maybe someone should ask Mr. Sibal to inform the PM"s legal team to inform the supreme court of the same.

from:  Sujith
Posted on: Nov 22, 2010 at 10:27 IST

Sibal with his legal vocabulary is trying to drown the issue for which he has been brought. He is accusing all and everybody except the wrong doers. What message is he giving to the youth of this country, as a HRD minister?

from:  Mohan thomas
Posted on: Nov 21, 2010 at 01:34 IST

A great effort of coverup and defending PM but this is falling as the loss to public exchequer is 1.75 lakh crores by giving away the national asset, which could have taken Health and Education to every nook and corner of the country and prevented most of the Starvation deaths. The pricing of a public asset was being sought to be kept out of the Cabinet and the GOMs' jurisdictions on his pressure. The PM appeared to be abdicating this function in favour of an ally.This is extremely serious and disturbing particularly because the desire to continue in office had made the leadership of this government a prisoner of coalition politics. National interest was being sacrificed to continue the government and sustain its longevity. The government now has a lot more to answer and ask for the resignation of PM who is Mr.Clean. It is very damning, Mr. Clean. for the PM`S chair, you could not show your authority and allowed knowinglly this scam to happen. This is nothing less than Corruption. Anti defection law must be changed as there are coalition govts every where in India at center and states . This law should not apply to individual parties but for the coalition arrangement which must be revealed in the presence of the President / governors . Then , there will not be any black mails from the members of the coalition. The voice of the combined opposition which consists of more than 200 MPs demanding the JPC probe is continuously strangled to save PM for his inaction and abetting the 2G scam by adjourning the parliament. There are strong indications that parliament will be adjourned sine-die next week .This is nothing less than the Emergency of Indira Gandhi days . Is our parliament democracy on decline ? Congress should remember the fate of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi after the Emergency and Bofors scam respectively and should not play with our Democracy.If PM was active and had taken action on Raja then itself , nation would not have lost this much money . With this , i can say the offender is Raja not alone but the whole govt led by PM what ever their political compulsions . This is deplorable and suggests that every one is let loose to squander the money of the nation.

from:  n.radhakrishna
Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 at 09:06 IST

The role of Prime Minister Singh, if any. in the 2G spectrum allocation case is yet to be established. But there is visible panic in this regard among the Congress and government managers and even in the the Gandhi family. They have all risen in defence of Dr.Singh. But unfortunately the defence of Dr.Singh is founded mainly on his integrity which had not been questioned in the past. Will it work? Well, time only will tell.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 at 06:20 IST

It really amuses me to read about Man Mohan Singh's stature!!! What can be the stature of the PM of India, who takes orders from the CIA? Where was his stature when, like a pimp, he had the Nuclear Bill hustled through the Parliament on 25 July 2008 by bribing MPs? One crore a piece. How much lower can any Indian PM drive our country? This fellow is a plain disgrace to India.

from:  asamanja ghose
Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 at 04:39 IST

Finally exposed Congress has started defending itself without any facts. Clear nexus between PM and telecom minister in the scam is now being uncovered.

from:  Jaya
Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 at 04:15 IST

Mr.Sibal is speaking out of turn, and as a leading legal luminary, he should be aware of it. The question has been raised by SC, and as such the PM and Mr.Sibal should make their points through their affidavits to SC. If Mr.Sibal can show the malafide nature of Mr.Swamy's complaints, the SC is the right forum at this stage, as the petition of Mr.Swamy is before the court. Mr.Sibal is doing great injustice to the PM by these tactics.

from:  TSK
Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 at 01:04 IST

Why is Mr Sibal, attacking the person(Dr. Swamy), instead of attacking the issue? They obviously are protecting the accused. There has been a large scale looting. Instead of trying to hide behind procedures, they need to bare it all open & punish the guilty. Preventing someone from continuing to do damage(raja sacking ) is not punishment.

from:  sridhar
Posted on: Nov 19, 2010 at 23:28 IST
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