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Updated: February 3, 2012 03:15 IST

Sibal defends PM, dumps Raja

Sandeep Joshi
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Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

A combative Communications Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday refused to accept that the Supreme Court judgment cancelling 122 telecom licences issued in 2008 was an indictment of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

The Minister, instead, put the blame on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government and on the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, “who did not heed the good advice” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram. The government welcomed the ruling, the Minister said adding it would help remove “uncertainty” that was hurting the telecom sector.

Mr. Sibal, who was addressing a press conference after having discussed the judgment with Dr. Singh, kept the focus on the NDA's “flawed” and “discriminatory” policy. “If there is any indictment, it is of the 2003 [first come, first served] policy framed by the BJP government in 2003…we only followed it,” he said.

Neither Dr. Singh nor Mr. Chidambaram was, in any way, responsible for the 2G scam. “The Supreme Court has clearly said that the then Telecom Minister [Mr. Raja] did not heed the good advice of both Dr. Singh and the Finance Minister. There was problem in implementation of the policy … that is why he [Mr. Raja] is where he is,” Mr. Sibal said.

Notably, Mr. Raja on Thursday completed one year in jail after his arrest.

Asked what lessons the government had learnt from the judgment, Mr. Sibal said: “Whichever [way] the Minister is functioning, [he] must consult everybody ... and not commit any irregularity.” Mr. Raja was found guilty of committing irregularities, he said, but he asserted that he was not blaming Mr. Raja or the UPA ally, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. “The DMK is our valued ally and they will continue to be so.”

Asked about his “zero loss” theory, Mr. Sibal said: “There was no option of auction. If the policy was right in 2008, then there was no loss … and if the policy is faulty, then you will have to calculate losses from October 2003 onward when the policy was implemented.”

The government would abide by the apex court judgment, which had brought about clarity and ended confusion that had brought the telecom sector to a standstill. “But now the road map is clear. The telecom sector was crying for investment … it would lead to more FDI [foreign direct investment].”

Referring to his Ministry's future course of action, he said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India would give its recommendations and auction the spectrum. “What the court has ordered is consistent to our [new] policy [currently being finalised] that recommends delinking spectrum from licences

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'Disgusting' is the one word that comes to my mind when I read the Minister's statement. People of India have to hang their heads in shame for having such a political class.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Feb 5, 2012 at 06:54 IST

Policy decision of any ministry cannot separate itself from the
deliberate crony business decisions. It is unfortunate that the head,
eyes, feeding mouth wish to blame each other and save their own
identity. Finance Minister as the feeder mouth had lot of time and
moral strength to bring back Raja to discipline. Finally he is the
custodian of Indian funds and protector of treasury. In the license to
loot how can we allow the `eye-mouth` combination to comfortably stand
separate in a holistic body ? How can PM separate himself from his
lazy office and on the question of fair Governance- look the other
side. Running a ministry business during recession or correct market
prices needs `real doctors` who are holistic and are different.Supreme
court had wrightly questioned as to why the "auction" for fair license distribution was not adopted ? Who nursed this poisonous route ? Both BJP-Congress.After NDA-rule in India, UPA failed to stop this poison by choice. Poison continued.

from:  Rakesh Manchanda
Posted on: Feb 4, 2012 at 07:12 IST

Mr Sibal always wants to be in the lime light and he does it by saying things which no body accepts. On 2G spectrum issue he had first said that there was no loss to the Govt. Now he has dumped Raja that is no surprise. The only difference between him and Cong gen sec Digvijay Singh is that Mr Sibal is in government and Digvijay is not. But both has the same way of acting. They will defend the party at any cost.

from:  bks
Posted on: Feb 4, 2012 at 06:21 IST

One can remember this same minister defended Raja that no loss was created by him.

from:  Jahan
Posted on: Feb 4, 2012 at 05:55 IST

The statement made by Kapil Sibal carries no substance but reveals how
welfare of the State has been sacrificed at the altar of coalition
politics. He is only, once again asserting the views expressed by the
Prime Minister Mr.Manmohan Singh that a trait of compromising
was inevitable in coalition politics, not to face elections every six
months, seeking a fresh mandate. But the cure has been more unbearable
than the disease itself,counting the loss incurred for the nation! There can be no justification of this sort and the disobedient minister ought to have been shown the way.The ruling party need not have paid heed to the dictates of its alliance partner but opted for the formation of a National Government.

from:  S.Rajendran
Posted on: Feb 4, 2012 at 04:36 IST

It is working like a Mafia, dump their man who is a convict now as he is not intelligent enough to save himself and he dangerous to mafia empire.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 21:19 IST

Sibal Ji. Com'n, be logical with your comments. If Raja was advised and he did not follow, then what your so called High Command was doing. Which involves in almost every thing you guys do. And you guys are not school boys to blame like you are doing now. 'We followed what BJP has started'. If it was faulty you could have changed the way. And yes, at the bottom line, things happened illegally with in Ur govt and thats what is said by SC. Its a big big failure as far as UPA goverment is
concerned and you are bound to accept this truth.

from:  shiva
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 15:52 IST

with the 2G scam money we could have constructed one lakh neat primary schools along with drinking water and toilet fecilities.

from:  kota sastry
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 15:39 IST

Dear Honourable Kapil Sibal , If the NDA's policy (of the 2003 -first come, first served) was “flawed” and “discriminatory” as you just mentioned in your press interview , why did the UPA just continue following it ?. There were no compulsions on UPA to follow same . Will you please explain or kindly stop making such blunderous statements any longer .

from:  VJ NAMBIAR
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 15:00 IST

Entire India knows this "spin master" Kapil Sibal has no credibility . Ever since his "zero loss" statement; he has made several other statements that demonstarte his ignorance . Why does UPA continue to make him their speokesperson and why does the media cover his statements anymore ?.

from:  VJ NAMBIAR
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 14:52 IST

Kapil Sibal shall be first sacked by the PM as he creates more problems for the Congress Govt.He is mentally Unfit as he is not able to read and understand the SC order.An ordinary person will understand where the fault lies.Congress shall sever its relation with DMK immediately to save them from further damage.

from:  subbu
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 14:03 IST

Mr. Sibal, the "zero loss" manipulator of the 2 G Scam has a ready made answer for every question notwithstanding the Supreme Court indictment. In the process he seems to thank the NDA for the escape route given. At the same time he did not fail to put the blame on Mr Raja, an expendable outfit, so that the "family" and their cronies are protected. It is the indomitable spirit of Mr. Subramania Swamy and public spirited lawyers like Mr. Prashant Bhushan, whom the Court has praised, who were responsible for this landmark judgement. The so called free press is more often than not, toe the line of the establishment and hardly have they taken the fight to the hilt. The Bofors, is a case in point, where the Congress was allowed to escape even though the press merely reporting events unfolding but nothing as would have happened in the West to ensure that the guilty are brought to justice. Will the Press in India play its role more honest role?

from:  P. Radhakrishnan
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 13:05 IST

If UPA Govt follow the policy of BJP then what these people are
doing, will they follow all the policies of BJP, if so then better
let people should elect BJP again. If BJP is at fault does Congress
cannot correct. Is Sipal is thinking those who are listening to him
are will not think.

from:  TDS
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 12:44 IST

Mr.Sibal, out of curiosity, if one of the officers reporting to you does not listen to your good advice, and go ahead with implementing their plans which are apparently detrimental to the organization or to the country as a whole, what would you do?keep quiet and see the fun? If so you are not eligible to be there.Same holds good with PM too.Rather than defending our PM, you have exposed him. I request THE HINDU to change the headline as 'Kapil Sibal dubs PM and HM as weak'. That is the actual meaning of what he says...

from:  Anil
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 12:41 IST

Let PM lay a new foundation through this down-to-earth acceptance of impiety happened in the UPA regime and refurbish his lost self-esteem!

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri.Chennai
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 11:09 IST

It is a disgrace that Man Mohan Singh, the erstwhile Finance Minister who was once respected throughout the nation for his vision on foreign-exchange and the liberalised economy, on becoming the P.M had scaled down to take all admonishing comments from the SC. Ironically he had transmuted himself like a deaf and dump person and could not murmur a piece of sentence that may open doors into the scam. It will be hypothetical to imagine that he can initiate a prologue for revelation and courageously come out with events that lead him to be part of all the iniquities right from CVC appointment and especially on green signals given to A.Raja for the manipulations in the telecom regime that lead to the scam etc. How can he be unaware of his obligation to do justice to his self-respect? If questions can be asked to PM in Parliamnet, will the PM dare to give adequate clarifications even if it may reveal malevolence done by his position.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri.Chennai
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 11:08 IST

By dumping one individual,Mr.Sibal is bound to answer the observation of their ally DMK chief last year"Is Raja a Bahasura to devour all single mouthed"

from:  Doodu
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 08:49 IST

If the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, “(who) did not heed the good
advice” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former Finance
Minister, P. Chidambaram, he should have been sacked by the PM. As he
didn't do so, PM is also a party in the scam.

from:  SUNDARAM
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 06:34 IST

Mr Sibal, stop this ranting. When supreme court says that one of your ex collegaues is guilty of 'capricious behavour' don't deflect the mud coming your way. Your support of the PM is admirable but in the same token you have implied that he is a weak leader who cannot force his cabinet to follow his directions.
Your double-speak makes me retch.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 06:00 IST

Criminals, when cornered, never think twice about sacrificing their mates if that may help them escape. And PS - excellent semantics employed by the Hindu in explaining the Telecom Min's action.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012 at 04:41 IST
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