New Delhi: A day after the former Telecom Minister A Raja was arrested for his involvement in the 2G Spectrum scam, ibnlive.com invited Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar for a live chat on Thursday on the issue. Chandrasekhar has been one of the first to raise the issue of corruption in 2G Spectrum allocation.
Raja's arrest has been dubbed as a step 'too little, too late' by the Opposition even as his party, the DMK, on Thursday openly supported the tainted politician.
On a question on whether politicians like A Raja should be barred from practising politics or not, Chandrasekhar said, "I agree. India is waking up. As is being proved in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the world, people don't want to be taken for granted anymore."
Chandrasekhar slammed the UPA government for misleading the nation on the scam. When a reader asked what he thinks of the present Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's statement that no loss has been caused in the scam, Chandrasekhar called it a "political gimmick".
"Mr Sibal's statement was an insult to the intelligence of the media and people of India. To try and expect people to believe that the scam didn't exist and there were no losses from the scam was too clever for even men of such high intelligence as Sibal and Montek," he said.
When another reader asked why a body like the TRAI is unable to maintain transparency in its functioning, Chanrasekhar said, "TRAI unfortunately has become a notoriously inept parking place for retired DoT secretaries. In the early days when the TRAI was formed, it was headed by people of integrity, vision and knowledge like Justice Sodhi. But he proved to be too uncomfortable for the political masters and since then a series of compliant 'yes men' have been at the reins of the TRAI."
"I have recently submitted detailed complaints to the CBI and CVC relating to the actions of one Chairman TRAI in 2003-2004," he added.
Responding to another question on the slow and largely ineffective legal system in India, Chandrasekhar said, "White collar crime is very slow in being prosecuted and sentenced. It's because our criminal justice system is still predominantly architected (sic) towards crimes of a different kind, and there aren't enough judges, courts or prosecutors who have the capacity for this."
Referring to a culture of corruption eating into the meagre resources of the nation, he said, "Corruption is not a victimless crime. It is a crime where each Indian is the victim and pays for it." Chandrasekhar also called for similar action in other recent scams like the CWG. He said, "The same, even standard of probity in governance must be applied to all accused in corruption cases - be it in Delhi or Bangalore or any state capital."
"Some politicians and governments tend to take the people for granted and treat them like fools, dishing out propaganda and rheoteric and spin," Chandrasekhar said.