The alleged Rs. 1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam in 2010 had rocked the Dr. Manmohan Singh government and forced him to seek resignation from DMK’s A. Raja, who was named as one of the accused, from his Cabinet.  The BJP, the main opposition party then and now in power at the Centre, had paralysed Parliament, putting the government on the back foot. Former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh faced the toughest time of his public life with allegations of heading the most corrupt government in India’s history.

Now, the verdict by the CBI special court has acquitted all the accused including DMK’s A Raja and Kanimozhi, rendering then CAG Vinod Rai’s assessment of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore irrelevant. Reacting to the judgment, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said his zero loss theory stands vindicated and the then CAG and BJP should say sorry to the nation. However, the judgment might be challenged, but for now, it removes the taint from 85-year-old Dr Manmohan Singh.  The perception may change with this verdict. Dr Singh will heave a sigh of relief for it’s a personal victory for him.

In politics, perception is bigger than the reality. The perceived loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in allotment of 2G spectrum as calculated by the then Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai, had put a blot on the UPA 2 government headed by Dr. Singh.  The BJP used this to its advantage and created a perception against Dr. Singh and his government. The alleged 2G scam is stated to be one of the main reasons that led to the decimation of the Congress in the last five-six years.

In the hindsight, Dr.  Singh had said in 2014, history will be kinder to him and it will judge him better.  Though an appeal and then subsequent relooking at the entire case may alter the current verdict but for now the Congress has got a handle to play around and create a positive perception. The 2019 Lok Sabha election is still 16 months away and Dr. Manmohan Singh remains an asset to the grand old party.

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