A political storm broke out today after a special CBI court acquitted all the accused in the 2G spectrum case with the Congress asserting that the verdict has "vindicated" its stand and "exposed" the BJP, which asked it not to treat the order as a "badge of honour" and a "clean chit".
Launching a fusillade on the ruling BJP, the Congress accused it of carrying out a "massive propaganda" against the UPA-II regime and demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the party.
DMK MP Kanimozhi and former telecom minister A Raja, two of the accused in the case who were acquitted today, hailed the verdict and said justice had been delivered.
Manmohan Singh, who was the prime minister when the alleged scam took place, said the verdict has made it clear that the "massive propaganda" against the UPA was without any foundation.
"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," Singh, whose image had taken a major beating over the alleged scam, told reporters.
Jaitley hit back, saying the Congress should not treat the 2G verdict as a "badge of honour".
The party's "zero loss theory" was proved wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, he said.
Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, Jaitley asserted.
"The Congress is treating 2G verdict as a badge of honour, but its zero loss theory was proven wrong when the Supreme Court quashed spectrum allocation in February 2012," he told reporters.
Later, talking to reporters, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the trial court verdict is no "clean chit" to the Congress.
Raja said his acquittal proved that the presumptive loss in allocation of 2G spectrum was "cooked-up" and that the judicial system validated the "rightfulness" of his actions.
The DMK leader, who was the minister in the Congress-led UPA government when 122 telecom spectrum licences were issued to 8 companies in 2008 on first-come-first-serve basis, said his actions were for the benefit of masses.
"My firm belief in the rightfulness of my actions as well as my faith in our nation's justice system has been validated today," he said in a statement.
On the other hand, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who was one of the petitioners in the case, said the government should immediately appeal in the Delhi High Court against the acquittal.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram asserted that allegations of a major scam involving the highest levels of government was "never true and not correct" and the verdict has established that.
Attacking the BJP, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "The BJP has been exposed for its untruth and propaganda against the Congress. The prime minister, (Finance Minister Arun) Jaitley and the BJP should apologise to the nation," Surjewala said.
Congress MP and former telecom minister Kapil Sibal also demanded an apology from former Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) Vinod Rai and the BJP, asserting that he has been saying from day one that there was no loss.
"I have been vindicated today. In fact it is Vinod Rai who must apologise to the nation," he added.
"After the 2G judgement by the Special Court, zero gain for BJP...My position vindicated," Sibal said on Twitter.
Swamy, who was one of the petitioners on whose plea a CBI probe was ordered in 2G case, told
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