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If I was PM, there'd have been no 2G scam: Modi

Last updated on: November 19, 2010 19:29 IST

If I was PM, there'd have been no 2G scam: Modi

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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the 2G spectrum scam would not have taken place had he been the prime minister.

"Hota hi kyun (Why would it have happened at all)?" Modi said when asked how he would have tackled the scam had he been the prime minister.

He was fielding questions at a seminar organised by India Today media group on 'State of states in India'.

On Thursday, Modi had alleged in Bengaluru that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi did nothing to stop corruption in delivery of central funds to villages and "left things as they are".

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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"When he was prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi said when one rupee is released in Delhi, it becomes (a mere) 15 paise when it reaches villages (due to corruption). Didn't he say that?, Modi asked while addressing a CII-organised national quality summit.

"Is he (Rajiv Gandhi) a doctor, that he can get away by (merely) diagnosing (the malaise)? Should not the disease be eradicated? He left it (corruption) as it is", Modi said.

"Now that task (to eradicate corruption) has come on to my shoulders," he remarked, evoking peals of laughter among a section of industrialists attending the flagship three-day event of the Confederation of Indian Industry that began on Thursday.

A few days ago, Modi had asked the Centre to set up an experts' body to recommend changes for modernising the auditing body.

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"Central government should form an experts' commission to develop CAG as even more influential, trustworthy and capable institution," Modi said at the function to celebrate 150 years of formation of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Meanwhile, stepping up its offensive, opposition parties accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of allowing to be arm-twisted by UPA ally DMK in the allocation of 2G spectrum and asserted that they will not relent on the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe.

As he came under fire, Congress strongly defended the Prime Minister with Rahul Gandhi and new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal backing him to the hilt.

In Lucknow, BJP president Nitin Gadkari squarely charged Singh with "bowing to pressure" of DMK and the then telecom minister in 2006 by withdrawing the pricing issue from the ambit of the Group of Ministers and handed it over to the ministry.

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In Delhi, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, "PM is guilty of omission if not commission...even that image of cleanliness should not include whitewashing of all the scams (2G, CWG and Adrarsh) he has presided over."

Asked whether Singh should resign, he, however, parried the question by saying, "I think the PM is responsible and owes an explanation. We want a JPC which will go into the details of all three scams."

On alleged arm-twisting by DMK on 2G spectrum, he said, "PM allowed himself to be arm-twisted. So it is responsibility of the PM. The allies can suggest anything. But it is duty of the leadership to see the game and to ensure that transparent processes are in place. So it is the duty of the PM. So it is the failure of the PM."

BJP's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia said the government will eventually have to accept the JPC demand.

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"Till last week, they were saying that A Raja would not be asked to resign but he did. Same way, they may say that a JPC would not be accepted but they will have to accept it. That is the only way to function," he added.

Insisting on a JPC probe, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, "we are very clear that there is not other way out now particularly after the Supreme Court coming into the picture and trying to draw in the Prime Minister. We hope the government will relent (for a JPC)".

Backing for the Prime Minister came from Rahul who said in response to a reporter's question, "I don't think that he (PM) is an embarrassing position at all."

Throwing his weight behind Singh, Sibal, who was given additional charge of the telecom portfolio soon after A Raja was forced to quit over the spectrum controversy, described the PM as a "man of integrity. I don't think anybody in this country believes that he was trying to circumvent the law," he said.



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