The centrepiece of the Bharatiya Janata Party's attack on the ruling dispensation at the Centre is that it has become a government of scams and the mother of all scandals was 2G spectrum allocation at throwaway prices.
Senior leaders, now here for the BJP national executive, have been expressing a wish that the spectrum case would prove the undoing of the Manmohan Singh government the way Bofors “finished” Rajiv Gandhi even before his government's term ended.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley rubbished Communications Minister Kapil Sibal's latest stance that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008 did not result in any loss to the exchequer.
Losing no time in responding to Mr. Sibal's statements on Friday, Mr. Jaitley, who arrived here in the evening to participate in the two-day conclave, accused the United Progressive Alliance government of indulging in fraudulent activity to “cover up” post-Independence India's biggest scandal.
His contention was that Mr. Sibal deliberately missed the basic point: in 2008, the then Minister, A. Raja, allocated the scarce spectrum at the 2001 prices.
Mr. Jaitley criticised the Minister for taking on the role of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Comptroller and Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee, “all rolled into one,” a reference to the fact that all these agencies were seized of the matter and that the CAG report was tabled in Parliament.
Mr. Jaitley wondered whether the UPA government's next step would be to say there was no need for Mr. Raja to have resigned. Clearly, the UPA's argument would be that if no loss was suffered by the exchequer, there was no reason for Mr. Raja to quit.
Another party leader wondered how the Manmohan Singh government could defend the Public Accounts Committee's constitutional role in examining the CAG report even as it rubbished the very report.
The BJP has pointed out that if the CAG report is indeed not to be trusted, there is all the more reason to appoint a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the 2G issue.