Thursday 17 October 2013

Manmohan, Chidambaram Responsible for 2G Scam: Gurudas Dasgupta

(Gurudas Dasgupta
Mainstream, VOL LI, No 43, October 12, 2013
by Kuldip Singh Arora)
Armed with facts and documents, member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G spectrum Gurudas Dasgupta on September 28, 2013 dissented with the Committee’s draft report, which gave a clean-chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, and said that this was a fraudulent and dishonest attempt at cover-up, exonerating these people and throwing all guilt on A. Raja, the then Telecom Minister.
“Raja of course is the villain of the piece, but he certainly would not have been able to do it had he not had the tacit support of the entire government machinery,” Dasgupta, the CPI parliamentary group leader, said at a press conference in New Delhi.
CPI veteran A.B. Bardhan was also present at the press conference, held at the CPI head-quarters, Ajoy Bhavan. Dasgupta released what he called a “Parallel Report in the Form of A Dissent Note on the Report of the JPC” wherein he quoted from official reports and letters and private notes in the files, to which he had access.
The report also documented in detail the background to the evolution of India’s Tele-communication policy, conspiracy of the DoT during 2007 and 2008, the role of the CBI, the role of the corporates, the role of the Solicitor General, and the intriguing role of the Cabinet Secretary and the country’s loss on account of the allocation in 2008 at the rates discovered in 2001. Two conclusion reports have also been included.

It may be recalled here that the JPC, looking into the 2G spectrum allocation and pricing, had on September 27, 2013 adopted its controversial draft report that gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.
Dasgupta, the CPI Lok Sabha MP, charged them with full knowledge of the fraud that was perpetrated in disposing off the spectrum, ignoring reports by their own official authorities and yet sitting quiet.
On the role of the Prime Minister he said the inescapable conclusion is that Dr Manmohan Singh could not be absolved of the serious charge of dereliction of duty.
“He had only pretended to remain at an arm’s length because he preferred remaining in office than acting decisively to prevent irregularity that had caused dastardly damage to the country financially and politically to the government.”
This was an attempt, he charged, not to rock the boat and continue with the existing dispensation.
On the Finance Minister’s role, he said it is clear that if Chidambaram was serious and insistent on protecting national interest taking into consideration the huge undervaluation, he could have advised the government to invoke the rule that the Ministry of Finance subsequently in their note suggested.
Stating that P.C. Chacko never displayed fairness and objectivity in his role as the Chairman of the JPC, the CPI leader said he never placed the report before any meeting of the JPC nor even tried to work out a consensus—something that had been done by the earlier JPCs.
About the proceedings of the JPC, he alleged that only a vote was taken and the report adopted without any discussion.
This, he said, would destroy all faith in the JPC which is a very vital part of parliamentary scrutiny of financial wrong-doings, part of the entire parliamentary system in the country.
People would come to think that JPCs do not deliver; therefore, what is the use in having them?—he added,

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