Telecom Minister A Raja was in the eye of a storm in Parliament amid demands for his dismissal in the wake of a report that a corporate lobbyist was involved in alleged multi-crore scam over allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008.
The report in a daily newspaper here became ammunition for the AIADMK, BJP and the Left parties to target Mr. Raja in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha displaying cuttings of the news that said, “The CBI has acquired clinching evidence showing that a high-profile woman PR lobbyist acted as power-broker in the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam.”
Mr. Raja was not present in either House and DMK leader T R Baalu along with party colleagues in the Lok Sabha objected strongly over the charges levelled against the Telecom Minister.
As soon as both Houses assembled for the day, AIADMK and Left members rushed to the well in the Lok Sabha displaying copies of the media report and the newspaper, demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister on the outcome of the CBI probe into alleged allocation scam.
In the Upper House, BJP and AIADMK members raised the issue vociferously with members belonging to Jayalalithaa’s party demanding dismissal of the Telecom Minister.
Mr. Raja has been facing the allegations of distributing new telecom licenses and spectrum at throw away price and causing huge losses to the exchequer. Nine new licenses were issued in January 2008 at Rs 1,658 crore for pan-India operations.
CBI is also investigating alleged irregularities in the spectrum allocation and has registered a case against some unknown officials of the Department of Telecom for their involvement. But no report has been given by the investigating agency so far.
The Rajya Sabha saw two adjournments on the spectrum and phone tapping issues while the Lok Sabha was adjourned once.