Upping the ante against the Centre over the appointment of the former Telecom Secretary, P.J. Thomas, as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said it was done to “cover up” the huge financial scam in the allotment of 2G spectrum.
Releasing some documents here to prove the party's point that during his tenure, Mr. Thomas tried to keep the CVC and Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) out of the probe into the alleged irregularities in the allocation of spectrum, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Mr. Thomas's appointment was done to derail the entire investigation into the scam.
The BJP boycotted the swearing-in of Mr. Thomas on Tuesday, while senior leader and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj met President Pratibha Patil to protest against the appointment.
Incidentally, Ms. Swaraj was part of the three-member committee — which included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram — that was formed to select the CVC.
Terming the 2G spectrum allocation to private companies at “throwaway prices” a “maha-Bofors” scam, Mr. Javadekar said that in its note prepared on August 12, 2010, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) — then headed by Mr. Thomas — raised a query before the Law Ministry saying that spectrum allocation was a matter of policy, and that the CAG and the CVC had no role to play in the inquiry into it.
“And now the same person [Mr. Thomas], who earlier objected to the CVC probing the scam, is heading the organisation…and now no one is expecting a fair inquiry into the entire matter,” Mr. Javadekar said.
He said both the DoT and the Law Ministry favoured the note prepared against the role of the CVC and the CAG, which proved that the government purposely appointed Mr. Thomas for the cover-up.
“The Congress-led UPA government has undermined institutions like the CAG and CVC…on account of the compulsions of coalition politics, the UPA government is under pressure to derail the investigation,” Mr. Javadekar alleged.
Pointing out that Communications and IT Minister A. Raja had time and again, in his defence, claimed that he was working under the guidance of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Javadekar said: “He has made the Prime Minister a co-accused in the scam. The formulation of policy at the behest of Mr. Raja was consciously and deliberately framed to cause loss to the government and gain to private parties…but still Dr. Singh has been defending the Minister.”