New Delhi: Former Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai has attacked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the 2G spectrum allocation. He said records indicated then Telecom Minister A Raja had kept the Prime Minster in the loop on the course of action he planned to pursue in allocating 2G spectrum and said Singhâ€™s reluctance to chart a different course could be construed as “dereliction of duty”.
Elaborating on the aftermath of the November 2010 CAG report â€“ which famously clamed a loss of Rs 1, 76,000 crore to the Exchequerâ€”the former CAG said the then Congress MPs Sanjay Nirupam, Ashwini Kumar, Sandeep Dikshit had approached him to keep the PM “out of it”.
Rai said two letters written by Raja to the PM in 2007 â€“ on November 15 and December 16 â€“ Â showed that Singh was well aware of what the DMK leader was planning to do. Exposing Singhâ€™s silence on wrong doings of the Ministers, Vinod Rai said, â€œCAG informed then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee about the transgression in coal block allocations. Pranab Mukherjee acted immediately and cautioned Manmohan Singh but he remained silent.â€
Rai also speculated that coalition compulsions might have prevented Singh from heeding requests from Cabinet colleagues to refer the spectrum issue to a Group of Ministers.
However, Rai refused to lay the entire blame on the former Prime Minister for the series of scams that rocked the UPA government. “I think too much blame is being put on the Prime Minister as there are large number of functionaries who did not perform the role,” he said.
Rai, whose controversial reports on spectrum allocations and coal block allotments had put the UPA government in a spot, is releasing his autobiography ‘Not just an account, the diary of a nation’s Conscience’.