Posts tagged ‘2g scam’

July 7, 2011

Will PM drop Dayanidhi Maran?

New Delhi: With the continuation of DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran in the Union Cabinet increasingly becoming untenable, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may decide on his fate as early as within the next 24 hours.

As per reports, Thursday, if the CBI goes ahead and names Maran in the 2G scam chargesheet then his exit from the Union Cabinet will be a certainty.

The status report of the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2G spectrum case submitted to the apex court, yesterday, pointed the finger at Maran for the delaying of telecom company Aircel’s application for 2G licence and forcing it to be sold to Malaysian company Maxis during his tenure as communications minister in 2006.

The report has provided fresh ammunition to the opposition to target Maran and the United Progressive Alliance government.

Importantly, Congress sources were quoted by a news agency as saying that the party will consult the DMK before taking a decision on continuation of Maran.

The Congress Core Group had yesterday met at the Prime Minister’s residence and is believed to have discussed the issue.

Clearly a lot will also depend on the stand taken by Maran’s grand uncle chief M Karunanidhi. The DMK chief is not in the best of terms with the Congress over the arrest and jailing of his daughter Kanimozhi and that of his trusted man A Raja.

Maran is the textiles minister at present and was the communications minister in 2004-07.


June 11, 2011

Tamil Nadu poll debacle: Congress mouthpiece blames DMK

DMKNew Delhi:  A split has been averted with the DMK deciding to stay with the Congress at the Centre despite an obvious strain in ties after the arrest of top DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja in the 2G scam. But an article in the Congress mouthpiece Sandesh has now blamed its southern alliance partner indirectly for the poll drubbing in the recent-held Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

The editorial said that the results in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were affected by 2G scam and Congress must not lose its vote bank due to mistakes of coalition partners.

The 2G scam led to much tension between the alliance partners – so much so that it led to speculation that the friendship may have reached a breaking point. But, at a meeting presided over by DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday, the party put all speculation to rest that it may pull out of the UPA government.

“The spectrum issue has been exaggerated by certain selfish forces. We don’t have any problem with the Congress,” Mr Karunanidhi said after the meeting.

The DMK has six members in the Union Council of Ministers.

Two senior DMK leaders have been jailed in connection with the 2G scam, including Mr Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi. The same telecom scam has also loomed over Mr Karunanidhi’s nephew, Dayanidhi Maran, who has been serving as Textiles Minister. Recent investigations by the CBI pointed to financial misconduct by Mr Maran, when he served earlier as Telecom Minister, had built pressure on him to resign.

The DMK also condemned the CBI for linking the 2G scam to Kalaignar TV transactions and said it will continue to fight the charges against its top leaders ‘legally’.

In Delhi, the Supreme Court is considering Kanimozhi’s application for bail. It was rejected by the Delhi High Court which cited her “political clout” and ability to influence witnesses as a major concern.

Mr Karunanidhi’s resentment with the Congress has been publicly expressed since his daughter was arrested on May 20 for accepting a bribe along with A Raja, who like her is now in Tihar Jail. Mr Raja who is also from the DMK was Telecom Minister till he resigned in November last year.

The CBI has charged Kanimozhi with accepting Rs. 214 crore as a bribe in the 2G scam which was allegedly masterminded by Mr Raja. The money was deposited with Kalaignar TV in Chennai, which is owned by Kanimozhi, her stepmother, and Sharad Kumar, who is also in jail.

The tension between the Congress and the DMK has also been created by the disastrous results of their alliance in the recent Tamil Nadu election. The Congress bullied the DMK into ceding a hefty amount of seats. The DMK went on to deliver one if its worst performances. The Congress did not fare well either.

June 11, 2011

CBI builds case against Dayanidhi Maran

Dayanidhi MaranNew Delhi:  Dayanidhi Maran’s alleged transgressions when he was Telecom Minister can be traced to how he awarded licences to companies for mobile networks. This is what the CBI believes. The agency, which is investigating India’s Godzilla-sized Telecom Scam, has been following up on allegations that Mr Maran misused his term from 2004 to 2007 to help companies he favoured.

To prove its case, the CBI will explain how Mr Maran broke with the norms of the country’s telecom policy in sanctioning licences.

Before Mr Maran took office, 27 licences had been processed within months. Airtel, for example, got its licence within three months when the BJP-led NDA was in power at the centre. In contrast, after Mr Maran took over, phone operator Aircel was kept waiting for two years for the 14 licences it had applied for. Then owner of Aircel, C Sivasankaran has testified to the CBI that Mr Maran threatened and pressured him to sell his company to an entrepreneur in Malaysia who was close to the Maran family. Mr Sivasankaran claims he sold Aircel at a throwaway price to T Ananda Krishnan in late 2005. The licences were granted as quickly as within a month, for some circles or areas.

A company owned by Mr Anandakrishnan then invested 800 crores in Sun TV, owned by Mr Maran’s brother. The CBI will determine if this was a kickback for the Aircel deal.

 While Mr Sivasankaran was put on hold, Mr Maran was efficient in clearing the licences that Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infocomm and Sunil Mittal’s Bharti wanted.

Sources in the CBI say that proof of Mr Maran’s bias against Mr Sivasankaran can be seen in certain circles like Madhya Pradesh – here, even though the government had given the businessman a Letter of Intent to indicate his licences would be granted, he was made to wait for two years. So while the government had agreed in principal to his request, it did not allow his files to be processed. The licences were sanctioned only after Mr Anandakrishnan bought the company.


June 7, 2011

2G scam: CBI closing in on Dayanidhi Maran


New Delhi:  Dayanidhi Maran took an early flight to Delhi on Tuesday morning, a day after the CBI – now actively pursuing complaints of a telecom scam allegedly engineered by him – found a witness against the former Telecom Minister.

CBI sources said the agency had, in the wake of the corruption allegations against Maran, sent a report to the Prime Minister’s Office. Any action in the case would need a nod from the highest levels as Maran, who is DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s grand nephew, is the Union Textile Minister in the UPA government at the Centre.

On Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was evasive on Maran’s future in the Cabinet in the wake of the allegations of corruption levelled against him. The Prime Minister was asked whether he had sought Maran’s resignation and he said, “All these matters are being looked into by law enforcement agencies. They should be allowed to do their work without fear or favour.”

Earlier on Monday, the former owner of Aircel Sivasankaran reportedly told the CBI that he was pressured by Mr Maran’s ministry to sell the telecom company in 2006 to an industrialist from Malyasia. “I felt strangulated,” he reportedly said during a lengthy interrogation by the investigating agency. At a press conference in Chennai, Mr Maran countered, “If anyone was being forced (to sell), they could have gone to court.”

Mr Sivasankaran claims that harassment by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which repeatedly rejected his applications for mobile network licenses, forced him to sell his company to T Anandakrishnan. Mr Sivasankaran’s successor is reportedly close to Mr Maran and his brother, Kalanidhi, who owns Sun TV.

After Mr Anandakrishnan acquired Aircel, he was granted 14 licences and within months of that, Mr Anandakrishnan’s company invested nearly Rs. 800 crore in Sun TV. The CBI is investigating whether that was a quid pro quo.

Mr Maran has said that he did not use his position as Telecom Minister to harass Mr Sivasankaran, or to later benefit Sun TV. He has also clarified that he does not own any shares in Sun TV.

Mr Maran’s party, the DMK, has been linked in multiple ways with different telecom scams. A Raja, a senior leader who took over from Mr Maran as Telecom Minister, is in jail for the 2G scam; so is Kanimozhi, who is Karunanidhi’s daughter.

The CBI chief AP Singh will appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the 2G spectrum scam today and present findings.