Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, Vinod Rai, evaded questions by news agency ANI on 23 January in New Delhi on the 2G scam verdict and allegations made against him by former telecom minister A Raja.
"I have not spoken to anybody and there are reasons for that, as and when you will get to know." - Former CAG Vinod Rai to ANI
His remark comes two days after Raja accused Vinod Rai of being a "contract killer" hired to kill the Congress government and called for his prosecution for "abusing" the power and "cheating" the nation at a media launch of his book 2G Saga Unfolds.
“Vinod Rai should be prosecuted for cheating and abuse of power... (he) was a contract killer... His shoulder was used to kill UPA 2,” Raja said.
The former minister, who was acquitted by the CBI court of all charges in the 2G ‘scam’, also asserted that forces working against UPA-2 were using Rai as a tool.
CAG Vinod Rai’s Report is ‘Mere Trash, Deemed Fit for a Dustbin’
The Vinod Rai-led Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the allotment of 2G spectrum licences, which was submitted on 10 November 2010, held former telecom minister A Raja responsible for flouting rules, giving free reign to favouritism and above all, costing the government a “presumptive loss” of Rs 1.76 lakh crore by misusing his power to allocate 2G spectrum.
Raja’s book 2G Saga Unfolds which was launched on 20 January 2017, reserves the maximum bile for the former CAG Rai, accusing him of having “ulterior motives.”
In Raja’s book, 2G was never a scam but a conspiracy, possibly masterminded by several characters with vested political and business interests, whom he alludes to at different stages in the book.
He holds Rai singularly responsible for destroying his reputation and playing a critical role in bringing about the downfall of the UPA-II government.
Raja remarked that Rai’s report, which laid down the rationale for the alleged 2G spectrum scam, was “a mixture of inappropriate legal interpretations, incongruous comparisons and flippant allegations.”
Raja said that Vinod Rai should have been called as a witness in the criminal case filed against him. Continuing with his attack, he said that Rai was the sutradhaar who created the “devious apparition”.
“His report is mere trash, which is unanimously deemed fit for the dustbin, and his statements would not have stood test of cross-examination,” Raja said.
Raja’s Grievances Against His ‘Own People’
Taking the book route to prove his innocence, Raja does not hide his disappointment with the Congress bosses for not coming to his rescue even when the then prime minister Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee were kept in the loop about every decision at each step.
“Unfortunately, neither the Prime Minister nor the Finance Minister came forward...to back my legitimate position…Dr Manmohan Singh’s palpable silence in relation to defending my wholly justified actions, especially when the governing bodies (CVC, CBI, JPC, Supreme Court) were refusing to hear my defence, felt to me like a silencing of our nation’s collective conscience.”
Similar disappointment is also expressed with P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal for not standing by Raja, and with JPC chairperson PC Chacko whom he accuses of having pre-judged him.
P Chidambaram’s stand on the 2G case is still a puzzle to me. He is an administrator of strong acumen, an able lawyer and a seasoned Parliamentarian. Yet, I was surprised to see him shying away from discussing the 2G situation with me and even avoiding speaking to me when we happened to pass each other in the airport.
Manmohan Singh was Aware of Raja’s Intentions in 2G case, But Chose to Remain Silent: Vinod Rai
In his book Not Just An Accountant launched in 2014, the then CAG Vinod Rai wrote that then prime minister Manmohan Singh was aware of the wrongdoings of the then telecom minister A Raja but chose to remain silent for unknown reasons. Below is an excerpt from the book which appeared on The Print :
It is obvious from the exchange of these letters that the prime minister was indeed aware of Raja’s intentions as far back as November/December 2007. He chose, for reasons which can only be speculated, to ignore the warning signals. He failed to direct his minister to follow his advice, the counsel of the ministries of law and finance, and the commerce minister Kamal Nath’s suggestion that the issue be brought to a GoM for threadbare discussion.
Why, and under what compulsion, did the prime minister allow Raja to have his way, which permitted a finite national resource to be gifted at a throwaway price to private companies – private companies that, going by the minister’s own admission, were ‘enjoying the best results […] which was also reflected in their increasing share prices’?
(With inputs from ANI, The Print)
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