Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Congress distances itself from Maran over telecom scam

New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari on Tuesday sought to distance the party from Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran''s alleged involvement in the multi-billion dollar 2G spectrum scam.

Refusing to respond to the tehelka magazine''s charge that in 2006, Maran had distributed 2G spectrum licenses to operators in a selective manner as telecom minister, Tiwari said that it was Maran''s responsibility to provide an explanation.

"If there are certain questions which have been asked of the textiles minister, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, obviously he would be in the best position to explain them. However, I think it would be appropriate to point out, that there is a joint parliamentary committee, which has been constituted specifically to go into issues connected to the telecom sector from 1998 to 2009," said Tiwari.

Maran has filed a suit against Tehelka in which he says that the magazine''s report is fictitious and ablatant lie that can only be settled in court.

Tehelka has said that it is yet to receive Maran''s legal notice, and charged the minister with launching a vindictive campaign against the magazine.

The telecom corruption scandal, which may have cost the Indian exchequer around 39.57 billion dollars in potential revenue, is the biggest of the several graft cases to emerge in the second term of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to probe officials, millions of dollars were paid in bribes to ensure favors for certain firms in 2007/08, when India issued 122 new licenses to offer mobile phone services in the world''s fastest growing telecoms market.

Meanwhile, Tiwari also asserted that the Congress did not wish to speculate on the anti-corruption agitation call given by India''s Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev.

"The Congress has nothing to say on Baba Ramdev," said Tiwari.

Ramdev would go on a fast against corruption from June 04 in New Delhi despite the Centre''s efforts to pacify him over his demand for action on black money.

Demanding the declaration of black money as national treasure, Ramdev has insisted on confirmation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption treaty in the Parliament, which would pave the way to bring back the Rs 400 crore or 4 billion of black money to India.

Ramdev claims that more than 10 million supporters will participate in the movement across the country. (ANI)


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