2G Scam – What will happen in the end?

2G Scam has received unprecedented media coverage in the last few weeks. The sheer magnitude of the scam (Rs. 1.76 Lakh Crores) is enough to baffle and shock the public in general. In its report, The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has meticulously documented how former telecom minister A Raja circumvented norms at every level and obdurately avoided scrutiny in awarding 2G licences in January 2008 at 2001 rates, which resulted in a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

The existence of the 2G Scam was known to all concerned (media, opposition and the public) since last two years but what has rekindle the recent flame was CAG’s Report dated 20th Nov 2010 and two writ petition filed in the Supreme Court – (a) by the “Centre for PIL” seeking action on the basis of the draft audit report submitted by CAG and (b) a special leave petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy for a direction to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to decide on his application seeking sanction for prosecution of Mr. Raja, the then Telecom Minister.

Sensing a great opportunity to embarrass the government, a united opposition has used the winter session of the Parliament to demand a JPC (Joint Parliament Committee) Probe into the scam. The UPA Government and the ruling Congress Party immediately dismissed this demand which led to the opposition stalling the proceedings in both the houses of the parliament for the entire winter session.

Since then, Raja has been asked to step down and has been replaced by Kapil Sibbal, whose top priority seems to be the weather the current storm using his legal skills. The Supreme Court has directed the CBI to conduct its probe under the direction of the SC and Swami has threatened to move the SC for initiating criminal proceedings against Raja. CBI has raided Raja’s house and has grilled him for many hours for the last two days.

Subramanian Swamy, in various press interviews, has been repeated making tongue in cheek comments about Raja not being the only beneficiary of the scam and in some interviews has even gone as far as to suggest that Raja has only got 10% while 30% has gone to DMK Chief Karunanidhi and 60% has gone to Sonia Gandhi through her two sisters in Italy. Surprisingly, no other opposition leader has made any allegations on Karunanidhi or Sonia Gandhi. The reason could be that Swamy’s so far has not produced any evidence to substantiate his charges (although he claims to be in possession of some evidence) and opposition doesn’t want to level unsubstantiated charges, not at least for the time being.

The entire battle between the ruling Congress Party and the united Opposition has converged into one single issue – to have or not to have a JPC to probe the 2G Scam.

Why does the opposition want a JPC? Clearly to embarrass the government and the Congress Party and that’s the reason the Congress doesn’t want to accept the demand. Another hidden agenda for the Opposition is to use the JPC to widen the scope of the probe to target the other beneficiaries and try to drag the Congress and more specifically its leader Sonia Gandhi into this scam. If this is indeed the intention of the opposition, there is no way the Congress will oblige them. For the opposition, even a denial by Congress suits them fine as they can claim that the government and the Congress is running away from the probe which shows they have something to hide.

Even without Swamy’s claim, it is not too difficult to imagine that Raja can not be the sole beneficiary of this scam. In DMK, nothing moves without the permission of its chief, Karunanidhi, and therefore the DMK Chief being the major beneficiary is almost a foregone conclusion. The CAG reports clearly shows that during the 2G spectrum allotment process, Raja ignored the objections raised by the PMO, the Finance Ministry and the Law Ministry and still managed to have his way. In fact, in his affidavit, Raja has even claimed that he had kept the PM informed at every stage of the allotment process. It is not too difficult to verify Raja’s claim and even without it, it is amply clear that the government and hence the ruling Congress Party was fully aware of the possible irregularities in the process of spectrum allotment. This only means one thing – the Congress Party was not just aware of but fully involved in the 2G Scam. No political party which controls the government will let a junior partner make Rs. 1.76 Lack Crore without demanding and receiving the Lion’s Share. And Congress is nothing but its leader Sonia Gandhi. The division ratio of 10:30:60 between Raja, Karunanidhi and Sonia Gandhi, as alleged by Swamy, does appear to be reasonable, going by increasing order of importance and control.

The question now is, JPC or no JPC – whether the guilty ever get framed and punished? The outcome depends solely on the Supreme Court and how it controls investigations by the CBI. Going by the history of all scams, no politician has so far been framed and punished. Supreme Court may be a big and powerful institution but after all it is run by a few individuals who may be vulnerable to Sam-Dam-Dand-Bhed of politics. When there is huge money involved, anything is possible not just in India but even in the biggest democracy in the world – the USA. Kennedy was assassinated because he was coming in the way of the powerful Arms Lobby and had to pay the price.

Rs. 1.76 Lakh Cores is more than enough to take care of anything and anyone who comes in the way. As they say – money is not God but is certainly the next powerful thing.

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Comments

  • Denise  On December 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Very interesting post! Looking forward to the next posts!

    • virtualopinion  On December 29, 2010 at 6:03 am

      Many thanks.

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