Former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman Pradip Baijal has claimed in a self-published book that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had threatened him and even warned him of “harm” if he did not co-operate in the 2G scam.
“They (CBI) had warned me in each case (cases related to 2G scam and disinvestments) that I would be harmed if I didn’t cooperate. Incidentally, this was exactly what the eminent economist Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) had told me would happen if I did not cooperate in their scheme of things in the 2G case”, quoted The Times of India from Baijal’s book ‘The Complete Story of Indian Reforms: 2G, Power and Private Enterprise – A Practitioner’s Diary’.
He further added that he had no other choice but to go with the minister.
In response to Baijal’s statements, Former PM Manmohan Singh slammed the NDA governement in an NSUI Convention on Wednesday saying, “I have not used my public office to enrich myself, enrich my family, or to enrich my friends. Still, BJP harps on corruption to divert people’s attention to non-issues.” Singh further added, “We had launched many new programmes, schemes, we had put in place many new policies. This had led to profound social transformation and unprecedented economic growth as well. Now, many of our programmes are now being repackaged and marketed as initiatives of Modi Government.”
Countering Baijal’s statement, Congress spokesperson Rashmi Kanth said in an interview with Times Now, “It is rather surprising that Baijal is disclosing all this 7 to 8 years later on the eve of the first anniversary of the Modi government. He is just following the line of the BJP to defame the UPA. Has the then Prime Minister confirmed this? How can you take Mr Baijal’s views at face value?”
BJP spokesperson MJ Akbar responded to Baijal’s claims by saying, “It’s a predictable coincidence that on the first anniversary of PM Modi’s government, Baijal has explained everything.”
The book is reported to have a detailed account of Baijal’s interaction with the CBI, during different probes over the years.