Manmohan defends Raja

Manmohan Singh, A RajaPrime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the allegations of irregularities in allocation of spectrum levelled by the Opposition against Telecom Minister A. Raja were not correct.

On repeated queries from mediapersons at a press conference at the end of his three-day Thailand visit, Singh replied: “In a democracy, political squabbling goes on, but that does not mean what the Opposition says is always correct.”

When asked to comment on the minister’s claim that the Prime Minister was in complete know of whatever he had done, Singh smiled and said: “I would not like to join the issue in public with my cabinet colleague.”

His comments came within days of the CBI searching the offices of the Department of Telecom and many private players, who were allocated spectrum last year.

Within hours of the raids, Raja said he had done no wrong and followed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations and consulted Singh on every matter.

Asked if Raja should continue in office, Singh said: “Cabinet changes or reshuffles are not discussed in public, more so on foreign soil.”

Naxal problem

Singh once again said Naxalism was the “biggest internal security problem” facing India. The Centre and state governments will have to take “all types of steps” to control the menace, he said.

“Law and order machinery will have to be strengthened and with that we’ll have to take steps to do away with the economic and social causes, which increase alienation.”

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