NEWDELHI: Chastised by the Supreme Court’s verdict on the 2G spectrum licences, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday tried to palm off blame on the previous NDA government for the first-come, first-served policy, which the UPA followed. In fact, Sibal tried to put a positive spin on the judgment, saying it was in sync with the government’s current policy of de-linking licence from spectrum. The SC verdict will bring much needed clarity to the sector that has undergone much uncertainty in the last two years, he added.
Ironically, all these came on a day when UPA’s former Telecom Minister A Raja completed one year in Tihar jail in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.
Tacitly shifting the blame on Raja, Sibal said, “The SC has clearly said the then minister did not heed the good advice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Finance Minister (Chidambaram)… that’s why Raja is where he is.’’ When pointedly asked if Chidambaram was guilty of omission of not preventing the scam, Sibal retorted,
“There was no time for Chidambaram to know that wrong was being committed.” Sibal’s media briefing took place nearly four hours after the SC verdict, that is, only after the Prime Minister briefed him on the development. The top honchos of the Congress again held a discussion after the Union Cabinet meeting, amid buzz that the government will be rallying behind its beleaguered Home Minister.