Kolkata: For the second consecutive day during his visit to Kolkata, Vinod Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India whose report in 2010 pegged notional loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer due to 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, refused to answer questions on the court's dismissal of the scam as non-existent and former telecom minister A Raja's reported allegation that Mr Rai was a "contract killer" for the BJP.
"Only cricket, I am here for cricket only. Its only cricket and I have committed to that," Mr Rai said to NDTV on Friday even before the question on 2G could be completed. He has not commented on the 2G judgement in public yet. His friends have reportedly said he was shocked.
Mr Rai, currently the head of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators of the BCCI, was a guest at a literary meet in Kolkata with former India team captain Sourav Ganguly. He has also authored an autobiography, Not Just An Accountant: The Diary of the Nation's Conscience Keeper.
Today, at a press meet after a cricket discussion hosted by a chamber of commerce, NDTV asked him once more for his reaction to the 2G judgment.
As he is a public figure, can he avoid 2G questions, he was asked.
"Let's respect the hosts and their desire. Let's respect the host. I am here on the invitation of somebody. And I must respect that. If there is no other question on sports, let's leave it," he said.
Mr Rai rose from his seat and almost left but returned to his seat to take questions on cricket.
Before the press meet began, a member of the host, Indian Chamber of Commerce, announced, "Please don't ask questions on 2G."
At the literary meet too, the same stricture. "He is here only because we promised him there will be no questions on 2G," one of the organisers of the literary meet said pleading anonymity.
After an hour long session at the literary meet, the host, Malavika Banerjee, did make a passing reference to A Raja as while punning on Sourav Ganguly's popular name in the city, Mahaharaja.
But that was all.
Mr Rai, 69, is under fire from the Congress since December 20, when the CBI special court acquitted 18 accused in the 2G case and said the "choreographed" charge sheet was based on "misreading, selective reading, non-reading and out of context reading of the official record."
In a soon-to-be-published book called 2G Scam Saga Unfolds, Mr Raja is reported to have written, "It is my conviction consequent to the whole experience of the trial that there was political motivation to kill UPA-II and Rai's was the shoulder on which the gun was placed."
Named 'Person of the Year' by the Forbes magazine in 2011, Mr Rai is described as "a rare breed of civil servants who knows how to get work done in the government".