The office of the government’s accountant—the rather heavy-sounding Comptroller & Auditor General of India—had had its moments of glory before: the Mundhra jeep scandal, the Bofors scam, Coffingate. But it took the 2G spectrum allocation scandal under the nose of Manmohan Singh and the figure of ‘Rs 1,76,000 crore loss’ to give it a near-mythical status. Further hints of gigantic financial transgressions in the parcelling out of natural resources like coal, spectrum, land and gas lent ballast to the anti-corruption movement under Anna Hazare, which the BJP later turned into an anti-Congress one, resulting in a change of government. As he puts his version out between covers, Vinod Rai spoke to Sunit Arora and Lola Nayar. Excerpts:
How was it getting the experiences as CAG out of your system?
It was pretty easy. Initially I did not want to write or speak about it. It was much later – around six months after retirement -- when I saw lot of things being thrown out into the media space in a very perfunctory fashion. I felt some of these things need to be brought out. Also, how much of circulation do audit reports have?
Do you feel the PM let the CAG down when it came to exposures like 2G, Coalgate, Reliance’s KG basin?
In KG basin, the PM’s remarks about Reliance in a conversation do not nail him directly, but in 2G and coal there is no way he can shirk responsibility. In 2G all the letters written by A Raja were to him and...