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2G Spectrum Back In News With Ex-CAG Vinod Rai’s Apology

NEW DELHI : he years of UPA-2 (2009-14) saw ìcorruptionî emerge as the leading political issue, as CAG reports on the 2G spectrum scam and the coal blocks scam were written about and discussed. From Parliament to the streets, corruption seemed to be the one issue that generated heat.he years of UPA-2 (2009-14) saw “corruption” emerge as the leading political issue, as CAG reports on the 2G spectrum scam and the coal blocks scam were written about and discussed. From Parliament to the streets, corruption seemed to be the one issue that generated heat.

Eventually, then PM Manmohan Singh began to face the heat in Parliament. This Thursday, then CAG Vinod Rai issued a written apology to Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam for having “incorrectly stated” that the MP had pressurised him to not mention Manmohan Singh in the report.The apology brings some sense of closure for both Manmohan Singh and Nirupam.

“I have inadvertently and wrongly mentioned the name of Shri Sanjay Nirupam as one of the MPs who pressurised me to keep the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name out of the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation during the meetings of the PAC or the sidelines of the JPC etc,” Rai writes in the letter.

Allegations pertaining to 2G spectrum and coal block allocations had changed the course of politics in India. CAG reports had been damning for the second UPA government. In November, 2010, the CAG had estimated a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer because of the spectrum being allotted without auction. There was no real loss. It simply meant that if spectrum had been auctioned, the exchequer would have seen an estimated gain of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

Among the accused was then telecom minister A. Raja, who was accused of advancing the last date of application to award the spectrum, thus allegedly subverting the first-come-first-served policy in return for “bribes”. Raja also spent time in jail as the face of the scam.

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