NEW DELHI: The acquittal of all the accused in the 2G case by a special court today triggered a major political slugfest between the BJP and the Opposition with the Congress saying "truth" finally prevailed and the ruling party asking it not to treat the verdict as a "badge of honour".
Alleging that the BJP, which was in opposition then, had spread a "propaganda", the Congress demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP apologise to the nation for doing so.
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.
DMK MP Kanimozhi and former telecom minister A Raja, two of the accused in the case, hailed the verdict and said justice has been delivered.
Congress veteran Manmohan Singh, who was the prime minister when the alleged scam took place, reacted saying the verdict 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 told reporters.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram echoed Singh's view, saying that the allegations of a major scam involving the highest levels of government was "never true and not correct" and the verdict 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 apology from former 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.
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 added.
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.
Swamy, who was one of the petitioners on whose plea a CBI probe was ordered in 2G case, told PTI outside the court premises that the government should appeal in the high court against acquittal of all the accused.
"Congis (sic) and allies celebrated JJ HC acquittal. Then in SC got deflated. Same will be here," Swamy also tweeted.
Raja and Kanimozhi and all other accused were acquitted in the politically-sensitive 2G spectrum allocation scam cases by the special court which held that the prosecution "miserably failed" to prove the charges.
The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the top court on February 2, 2012.