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Now, Kamal Nath Says Manmohan Singh May Have Made A Mistake

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Former Prime Minister continues to be in the eye of the storm over the 2G scam. After ex-CAG Vinod Rai attacked Manmohan Singh on 2G issue, Congress leader Kamal Nath on Friday (12 September) said the former Prime Minister may have made a "mistake" in not acting despite his letter to him expressing concern over the spectrum allocation process.

"He may have made a mistake. I would go along with you. I brought it to his notice. He did not understand the import" and he did not act, Nath said to a question whether the then Prime Minister had made a mistake.

"I was disappointed that the Prime Minister did not act.... In retrospect and hindsight, gravity and magnitude was not known. It was not known to me and the PM. It is very unfair to say that he knew everything," the former Union Minister and Singh's party colleague told a TV channel.

His remarks came even as several Congress leaders defended Singh on the 2G issue. The party too downplayed Nath's remarks and rejected the contention that the same had vindicated Rai's argument that Singh could not shirk reponsibility for decisions to allocate 2G telecom spectrum and coal blocks.

Asked if things would have been different had Manmohan Singh acted differently, Nath said "as recommended in my letter, if a group or a Cabinet Committee was set up, obviously the process would have changed. It required much more sharper and focussed attention".

"If it would not have been left to one minister alone, things would have been different," he told Times Now.

Nath said that the CAG came much later and he had written the letter earlier. "We must understand that the CAG report came much later. We did not know that."

Nath dismissed the BJP's charge that 10 Janpath was involved and Sonia Gandhi told the Prime Minister against pursuing the matter.

"BJP is talking absolutely rubbish. Sonia Gandhi, 10 Janpath did not know what was happening...Only the department knew what was happening not the entire government," he said.

Nath wondered that the CAG "never stumbled upon my letter, which was on record".

Replying to a question, he said, "I do not believe that the Prime Minister knew all the facts. I do not think she knew large parts of the facts."

Why Didn't Rai File FIR: Congress
Congress sought to turn the tables on former CAG Vinod Rai asking him why he did not file an FIR if some pressure was brought upon him not to name then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G and coal block allocation reports.

Alleging political motive behind his remarks, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that these are nothing but "rejected allegations primarily made by Subramanian Swamy", which did not stand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court and the special CBI court.

Suggesting that the former chief auditor was in league with the BJP, he also wondered as to why he has not uttered a word on serious strictures passed by the CAG in Gujarat against the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

While the Congress spokesperson accused Rai of showing "unsatiated hunger for publicity" before the launch of his new book, former party MPs Sanjay Nirupam and Sanjay Dikshit, who were accused by Rai of putting pressure on him, demanded an apology from him and threatened to drag him to the court.

Coming out with a stinging criticism of former Prime Minister Singh, Rai said that integrity is not just financial but intellectual and professional.

Rai, whose loss estimates in 2G spectrum and coal block allocations pushed the then UPA government into a corner also claimed that the then Congress MPs, including Sandeep Dikshit, Sanjay Nirupam and Ashwani Kumar, had sought to put pressure on him to keep the Prime Minister's name out of the said CAG reports.

Rejecting the charge, Nirupam and Dikshit said that they were not in the Public Accounts Committee, which had given its report on the 2G scam and had joined the newly-constituted PAC much after and hence it did not make any sense to ask the then CAG to change a report, which is already in public domain.

"Neither me nor Nirupam has anything to do with the earlier PAC," Dikshit insisted wondering "Am I an idiot that I have asked somebody to change the report, which has already been published." .

At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi rejected the contention that Nath had vindicated Rai's charge.

"Nath has said nothing of the sort what Rai said. It's a complete distortion to compare the two...Many people write letters, raise their concerns...Rai is speaking of complicity.

Then he should have filed an FIR, become a witness...It is nothing but an exercise in self-advancement, self promotion," he said.

Singhvi was referring to former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai's remarks that he felt Singh was part of the decisions to allocate 2G telecom spectrum on first-cum-first serve basis and coal blocks without auction.