BANGALORE: As voices get stronger against the government’s decision to bar four scientists of ISRO from holding government posts, including former chairman G Madhavan Nair, the heat is on the Prime Minister’s Office. It is now a question of honour, says Nair, who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier on Monday, asking him to revoke the ban.
Sources say that the government, under pressure and facing criticism, has now decided to reach out to the four scientists and listen to their version of the story.
The BJP, meanwhile, is busy firing its political salvo and targeting the PMO.
The PMO had come under the scanner for allotting 70 mhz of spectrum for Rs 1000 crore, considered a throwaway price, to private firm Devas. The deal was scrapped later on.
Scientists claim that Nair has been made the fall guy in the controversial deal.
Meanwhile, the PMO is silent and the uncomfortable questions remain.
Shouldn’t the PMO itself share responsibility as the deal was inked while the PM held the atomic energy portfolio?
Why has no official from the PMO been questioned?
Shouldn’t the then Principal Secretary to the PM, TK Nair, be asked to explain?
Present ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan had written to TK Nair on December 2, 2010 reminding the PMO of the law secretary's objections to the deal. Why then did they go ahead with the deal?
First, the Army chief’s age row and now, eminent scientists of the country being singled out in controversies - it couldn’t have gotten worse for the UPA.
Government sources, meanwhile, say that revocation of the ban may not be ruled out.