Nov 18, 2010
EVEN by India’s standards of political corruption, Andimuthu Raja, the telecommunications minister, was pushing it. He is accused of presiding over a rigged auction of second generation (2G) mobile-telephone licences in 2008 that deprived the exchequer of $39 billion—a sum about equal to India’s defence budget. This would make it the costliest loss to state corruption that India has ever suffered. A report by the government auditor said Mr Raja had sold the licences at deliberately low prices, some of them to ineligible companies. Even for a government that has shown a blithe complacency towards graft, in a country in which corrupt politicians are rarely held to account, this was considered unacceptable. On November 14th, Mr Raja got the sack.