“It wants to protect its turf and does not want changes in the telecom sector”

Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja asserts that the resurfacing of charges against him over the allocation of 2G spectrum is the work of a “huge lobby” that wants to protect its turf.

He told The Hindu in an interview that he was “forced to believe that there is a huge lobby that does not want changes in the telecom sector. There are people, for instance, who are against number portability. There is the cartel that has declared that they will get me. They have power over the media, they have huge resources, huge money. These events are being used by some political parties to defame the DMK.”

Mr. Raja asserts that the common man has benefited from the increase in the number of players in the market. “The fact remains that the people have benefited,” he said. “That is because of policies laid down and efforts taken by me and the government.”

Defends 1999 policy

He defended the National Telecom Policy 1999: “Policies should not be changed because of a change in political entity in government. NTP 99 was devised by the NDA. I don't want to change it merely because it was drawn up by the BJP government. I have shared in Parliament itself that the vision of the then government was correct.”

Asked if he would step down in the event of the CAG report indicting him, Mr. Raja said the CAG report could not be taken as judicial findings either to convict an individual or draw a conclusion on policies of the government until due process was exhausted.

“The CAG report for the period 1998-99 placed before Parliament in 2000 also had similar observations against the government,” Mr. Raja observed. “Neither the PAC nor Parliament has taken any decision to change the policy. In the absence of any advice or action from the PAC, the CAG did not find any flaws subsequently till 2010. It is for the CAG to explain.”