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'Chidambaram constitutionally, politically accountable'

Source: PTI
August 24, 2012 15:30 IST
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As the Supreme Court dismissed a plea for making Finance Minister P Chidambaram a co-accused in 2G case, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday said that he remains "constitutionally and politically accountable" as the nation suffered a loss in spectrum pricing in 2008.

"The loss has been caused to the government. Chidambaram was a part of the decision-making process. He is constitutionally accountable, remains politically accountable and that is what we are seeking inside Parliament and will continue to seek in JPC," BJP's chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He said this in the backdrop of the Supreme Court dismissing a plea for making him a co-accused in the 2G case, saying there was no prima facie material against him of any criminal conspiracy or procuring of any pecuniary gain.

Highlighting the huge difference in the pricing of 2G spectrum in 2008 and 2012, Prasad said this showed that there was a loss to the government.

He said Chidambaram was very much a part of the decision-making process in fixing the Spectrum price along with A Raja "disregarding" the advice of finance ministry's officials for auctioning the Spectrum.

"It is well-known that the base price of 2G in 2008 was determined at Rs 1,600-odd crores disregarding the advice of finance ministry officials to go for auction. In 2012, when the market conditions are adverse the base price of 2G

spectrum has been fixed at Rs 14,000 crore by a group of ministers headed by Chidambaram.

"Certainly I would like to know and highlight this for the country that has the country suffered a revenue loss or not in 2008, as said by finance ministry officials, that a proper bidding procedure should have been adopted. Therefore, the loss has been caused to the government," Prasad maintained.

On the Supreme Court judgement in 2G case, Prasad said, "The Hon'ble Supreme Court has given a judgement and I have nothing particular to say about the judgement except that we will go through the entire order. But certain issues are quite glaring which need to be highlighted."

He said, "Chidambaram as the finance minister was involved along with the then Telecom Minister A Raja in the determination of 2G Spectrum pricing. Dr Manmohan Singh in Parliament in our presence has stated that Raja and Chidambaram came on the same page with regard to spectrum pricing. I accepted that."

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