2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja

A Raja had a lot to say in his first interview after being acquitted in the 2G spectrum scam.

Published
India
3 min read
Former Telecom minister A Raja reacts as he celebrates along with his supporters after he was acquitted by a special court in the 2G scam case, in New Delhi.
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After the Special Court acquitted him in the 2G scam, DMK’s former MP and Union Telecom Minister spoke to The Lede about his thoughts on the verdict and the trial.

A Raja gave his first interview after the 2G verdict to <i>The Lede</i>.
A Raja gave his first interview after the 2G verdict to The Lede.
(Graphic: The Quint

The 2G spectrum scam, pegged at Rs 1.76 lakh crore by then CAG Vinod Rai, saw A Raja be publicly shamed for seven years and imprisoned for 15 months. But after the recent verdict cleared him and others of all charges due to the lack of any ‘legally admissible evidence’, A Raja says he feels happy, but not completely vindicated.

‘There Was No Case’: A Raja

In the 1,550 page order, Judge O P Saini said: “The end result of the above discussion is that, I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in its well choreographed chargesheet.”

Reacting to the judge’s observation that implies the prosecution did not do its job well, A Raja said he never pleaded for the benefit of the doubt and that the entire trial was a “criminal waste of time”.

A Raja gave his first interview after the 2G verdict to <i>The Lede</i>.
A Raja gave his first interview after the 2G verdict to The Lede.
(Graphic: The Quint
2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja
(Graphic: The Quint
A Raja to <i>The Lede</i>.
A Raja to The Lede.
(Graphic: The Quint

Did the Centre Stall the Prosecution?

Even though he’s been cleared of charges by the judiciary, not many are convinced about his innocence. Some opine that PM Modi’s meeting with DMK leader M Karunanidhi just a month before the verdict led to the centre influencing the prosecution to step back in the hopes of an alliance in the south. But A Raja is not having any of it.

2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja
(Graphic: The Quint
2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja
(Graphic: The Quint

‘When the CBI Came, the Bureaucrats Blamed Me’: A Raja

One significant observation made by Judge Saini was on the role of bureaucrats in the confusion that was created due to a lack of common understanding within the DoT itself. On this matter, A Raja says it was the bureaucrats who created a ‘messy’ situation in the first place.

2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja
(Graphic: The Quint
2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja
(Graphic: The Quint

When asked what will become of the 122 licenses that were cancelled by the Supreme Court now that the special court found no scam, A Raja said:

2G Verdict Will Cut BJP to Size; Where’s Our Rs 15 Lakh?: A Raja
(Graphic: The Quint

Raja refused to comment on CAG Vinod Rai, who was given a Padma Award by the NDA in 2016. He also remained mum on why former PM Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram were not questioned by the CBI.

When asked if DMK is likely to enter into an alliance with BJP, pre-poll or post-poll, Raja is quick to answer: “I do not think so. It has to be decided by the high levels of the party of course. But both our party President and our working president believe firmly in secularism.”

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