Become approver, Shourie tells Raja (Second Lead)

February 25th, 2011 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Former communications minister Arun Shourie Friday asked his disgraced predecessor A. Raja to become an approver in the spectrum allocation scam.”Raja should become an approver … and spill the beans,” Shourie told reporters after spending some three hours with officials at Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office here.

Shourie accused Raja of not following the rules. He said despite his jailing, key questions remained: who took the money, which telecom firms were favoured, and which officers were involved in this scam?

Accusing the government of misleading the nation, Shourie said: “What were senior members of the government doing when all this was happening? Were they sleeping? The government wants to derail this issue.”

The former minister blamed Raja for overlooking pending licenses — for his personal financial gains.

“There were many pending licenses and Raja did not consider them but asked for new applications. He changed the rules accordingly to oblige his favourites,” added Shourie.

Shourie, who held the communications portfolio between January 2003 and May 2004, was questioned on his role in awarding licences to operators on a first come-first-served basis and other telecom policy decisions taken by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Raja along with former telecom secretary Siddarth Behura and Raja’s former personal secretary R.K. Chandolia were arrested Feb 2 for their alleged role in 2G scam.

The scam pertains to irregularities in the allocation of second generation (2G) spectrum to telecom firms.

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