Emboldened by the court verdict in the telecom spectrum allocation case, the Congress party on Thursday said it would not let Parliament’s winter session transact any business until Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologised for misleading the country and maligning the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. The party recalled how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had ensured a washout of the winter session in 2010 on the issue and said it would demand a discussion on the court verdict. The Rajya Sabha's proceedings were washed out on Thursday, with the government ruling out any apology from the PM for having alleged that Singh, former diplomats and others conspired with Pakistan to influence the recent Gujarat polls. Senior government strategists said the case against the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)’s Rajya Sabha member K Kanimozhi was weak but conceded surprise at the acquittal of former Union telecom minister A Raja. BJP leaders and some of Union minister privately conceded the verdict was a “big blow”. ALSO READ: 2G verdict: All 17 acquitted for lack of evidence; CBI to move Delhi HC However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress should not treat the verdict as a “badge of honour” or certification that the spectrum allocation policy was an honest one, pointing to the Supreme Court's rap in 2012 on the policy. He said the subsequent auction of the spectrum during the Modi government was evidence that the policy was faulty. While speculation was rife in Chennai about possible realignments in state politics, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh telephoned Kanimozhi to congratulate her on her acquittal. The DMK is a constituent of the Congress-led UPA, and also counts the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as an ally in Tamil Nadu. In the Lok Sabha, the Congress’ Veerappa Moily demanded former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai quit all government posts, return all government awards and apologise to the country. Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said Rai should be probed and it was a “bad day” for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the PM, who had based their political narrative against the Congress-led UPA on the 2G case. BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy, one of the petitioners in the case, said the government should immediately appeal in the Delhi high court against the acquittal. ALSO READ: 2G verdict: Telcos, investors may move arbitration courts to seek damages Manmohan Singh said: “I do not want to boast about anything. The court’s judgement has to be respected. I am glad that the court has pronounced unambiguously.
All the massive propaganda which was being done against the UPA was without any foundation. The judgement speaks for itself.”Kanimozhi and Raja said justice had been delivered. In Chennai, the order came on the day R K Nagar, the assembly constituency former chief minister J Jayalalithaa had represented in the Tamil Nadu assembly, went for a bypoll. DMK supporters celebrated across the city. The party’s working president, M K Stalin, said injustice had failed. Kanimozhi is likely to get the deputy working president’s post. Both Raja and she were sidelined in the party after being named in the case and arrested in 2011. The DMK lost the 2011 assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu. Raja, once Karunanidhi’s favourite, could reclaim his earlier perch in the party as its pre-eminent Dalit face. While Stalin had not invited any BJP leaders for his father’s birthday celebrations in June, Prime Minister Modi had made a sudden visit to Karunanidhi’s home in November, spurring speculation on a BJP and DMK rapproachment. “I don’t see the possibility of an immediate political tie-up between BJP and DMK because of this verdict,” said Sumanth Raman, a political commentator. Sources in the Congress and CPI (M) also said Stalin was not comfortable with the BJP. Congress MP and former telecom minister Kapil Sibal said he had been vindicated that 2G didn’t cause any loss, and it was only “notional loss”. “Vinod Rai must apologise to the nation,” he said.