The charges levelled by former auditor, RP Singh against the Public Account Committee (PAC) and statement that 2G allocation losses were fudged come at a time when the UPA government is desperate to ward off Opposition attacks. Singh's statement may bring a small breather to the government reeling under pressures of many scam charges and Parliament logjam.
The Opposition's persistent demand for a debate on FDI under Rule 184 stalled work for the first two days of the winter session of Parliament.
Asked if Singh's revelations, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) official, have backfired on the BJP, which is trying to corner the government on various other issues, Congress president Sonia Gandhi curtly said, "Looks like it". Earlier the she said, "The BJP has stands exposed on the issue of 2G auctions."
At least for now, the demand for a debate on FDI has been shifted in favour of leaders of both parties trading blows over the latest revelation by Singh, who has once again questioned the CAG's 2G spectrum auction estimates of presumptive loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore.
While other Congress leaders, including information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, sought to know how 2G losses -- which were estimated to be at Rs2,645crore in the draft report (in May 2010) -- jumped to Rs1.76 lakh crore, BJP MP and party secretary Balbir Punj termed RP Singh's charges as "meaningless".
Punj said, "Two facts have been established in the 2G spectrum case. One that there was a huge loss to the government and secondly there was corruption in the allocations. Had there been no losses the licences would not have been cancelled and A Raja would not have gone to jail."
NCP leader DP Tripathi maintained that constitutional bodies like the CAG should not be embroiled into a controversy. "If what RP Singh has said is true then the losses pointed out by CAG are too high."
Singh had questioned the CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore. "After completing the audit of ministry of telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect ... My report did not contain any loss figure," he had said on Thursday.