The latest 2G fire has reached the Prime Minister’s doors. With the Home Minister and then Finance Minister P Chidambaram already facing heat over his alleged negligence in the 2G scam, the focus has now shifted to PM himself. The 2G scam is getting increasingly uncomfortable for Singh. The documents obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) act clearly say that Singh had intervened to ensure that the 2G spectrum pricing would be the Telecom Ministry’s prerogative. At this stage, is it really impertinent to probe the role of our Prime Minister?
A letter written by former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in 2006 to PM has opened a Pandora’s Box for Singh.
In January 2006, Singh had approved a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look after the additional spectrum for private telecom players. The Groups terms of reference included the price of the 2G spectrum. A protest meeting by Maran with Prime Minister in February and a letter by the former Telecom Minister forced the PM to dilute the agenda of the GoM, and leave the pricing issue exclusively in the hands of the Telecom Ministry.
It is clear that the PM was arm twisted into accepting Maran’s demand, which later led to one of country’s worst scams under Raja.
Apart from his complacency in the pricing issue, Singh has also come under the scanner for ignoring the advice of then Foreign Minister Pranab Mukharjee.
The PM and the government are currently battling hard to counter the note sent by Pranab Mukherjee‘s ministry to the Prime Minister’s office that questions P Chidambaram’s actions. Another letter by Mukherjee, discovered under the RTI act has added to woes of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister chose to ignore the counsel and allowed the Telecom Ministry to act on its own whims.
The Prime Minister can no longer hide behind the compulsions of coalition politics. The prime minister of India has absolute powers in running the country. If Maran or Raja had flouted the ethical norms, he should have acted against them. Singh instead chose to be a mute spectator to the crimes of his ministers. The personal integrity of the PM cannot absolve him of his greater responsibilities. At a time when the country is sparing nobody for corruption, Singh could find himself facing a probe, leading to major political repercussions in India.
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