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Radia's claims are an absolute lie: Pawar

Last updated on: April 15, 2011 12:08 IST

Radia's claims are an absolute lie: Pawar

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday rejected corporate lobbyst Niira Radia's claim that he lobbied with A Raja - when the latter was the communications minister - for grant of spectrum and licence to Swan Telecom.

Speaking from Baramati, his hometown, Pawar told Business Standard: "I will certainly explore the legal option once I get a copy of Radia's statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Whatever I have gathered from newspapers and TV reports is that Radia has said it is her perception and that she has not got any proof. I want to make it categorically clear that I have no link with DB Realty or any investment in it."

He added he was in no way involved with DB Realty promoter Shahid Balwa either.

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Image: Sharad Pawar speaks during an interview.
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters
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Pawar denied any involvement in the 2G scam. "Radia's claims are an absolute lie," he said.

Radia, in her statement to CBI, claimed that Pawar might be controlling DB Realty and might have pursued Swan's application for spectrum and licence with Raja. "I have not made any recommendation in this regard," Pawar said.

Balwa has emerged as a central player in the 2G scam, the country's biggest.

He was the main promoter of DB Realty and Swan Telecom, allegedly a major beneficiary of wrongful allocation of telecom licences and spectrum in 2008.

Balwa has been arrested for allegedly routing a Rs 200-crore (Rs 2 billion) kickback to Raja, who, too, is in jail.

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Image: Niira Radia.

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Pawar, however, said he had good family relations with the Goenka family.

"I have had good family relations with Vinod Goenka's father for the last 35 years as he has been involved in the milk sector in Baramati and nearby areas. That is why I know the second generation (Vinod Goenka, Balwa's partner in DB Realty)."

Pawar's clarification comes at a time the opposition parties have been accusing him of having links with Balwa.

In Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party has charged that Pawar used planes and helicopters owned by Balwa.

"As a party, we do hire aircraft and we hired their aircraft. We paid by cheque. It is not the only company we have taken helicopters from," he said.


Image: A CBI official escort Shahid Balwa (C, in black).
Photographs: Reuters
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