Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said had the previous UPA government taken appropriate decisions at appropriate time, “much of the mess” created by 2G spectrum allocation would have been avoided. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
He also said the role of the (then) Prime Minister was “very important” against the backdrop of former CAG Vinod Rai’s claims that Manmohan Singh was part of the decisions to allocate 2G spectrum on first-cum-first serve basis. “We had debated that Ad nauseam…if appropriate decisions would have been taken at appropriate time, much of the mess that was created would not have been there. And surely, the Prime Minister’s role is very important,” he told a press conference here. Prasad, when asked about the claims of Rai and whether the ‘buck stops at the doors of Singh’, said he would not make further comments on the issue as he should restrain on what he speaks as a Union minister now. Also Read - TRAI's new SMS regulations will prevent spam, fraudulent messages: Here's how
In an interview, Rai had criticized Singh saying he felt that the then Prime Minister was part of the decisions to allocate 2G telecom spectrum on first-cum-first serve basis and coal blocks without auction. “…in 2G and coal there is no way he (Singh) can shirk responsibility. In 2G all the letters written by (then telecom Minister) A Raja were to him and he was replying to those letters. I got no reply to any letter I wrote to him,” Rai had said. Responding to a question related to two Telugu channels reportedly not being shown in Telangana, Prasad said he would not like to specifically comment on anyone on the subject. Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service faces challenge in India, Elon Musk led company questioned
“I will not comment on anyone. You must ask this question to the I&B Minister. But I will tell as a political activist that we who work in democracy must learn to respect the freedom of media. And the freedom of media also means the media’s right to criticism,” he said.